C.E. Rorabaugh joins Inventist as Chief Product Evangelist
Long time acquaintance of CEO Shane Chen, Claude Rorabaugh, just joined Inventist as Chief Product Evangelist. Claude is no stranger to us as he helped launch several products in late 2005 including the AquaSkipper. Claude is looking forward to the opportunities of working with our partners, reps, and retailers to improve the lines of communication and product exposure. Early in his career he developed the first practical “man-overboard” UL and USCG approved survival suit for Harvey’s of Seattle. The last few years he has been involved in high stakes licensing exams and other educational services distributed over the Internet. He and his wife Deborah live live nearby in Washougal, WA. Their son Dr. Adam is the senior archaeologist for the Colville tribe near Grand Coulee, WA.
CNBC Squawk Box
The Hovertrax has been getting a bad rap lately. Unfortunately, the reason is due to imitation boards that are cheaply made. More and more knock off boards have gone up in flames. Recently, a mall kiosk in Auburn, Washington (very close to home) selling counterfeit boards had a unit catch fire in front of customers and storefronts. “For no reason, it just exploded,” Kelli Steiner, who recorded the video, told CBS affiliate KIRO-TV . “And not just a little fire, exploded. Like combusted, the whole thing.” http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/hoverboard-bursts-flames-washington-mall-article-1.2459742 Joalene Jolivette, our Global Marketing Director, journeyed to the CNBC office in New York to answer some very important questions about the Hovertrax. Educating consumers is very important as this problem continues to grow. http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000463336 A few takeaways from the video include: The Hovertrax will not overcharge if left charging for longer than necessary There have been no incidents with explosion or fires with our Hovertrax, or our other popular items that use the same high quality battery You get what you pay for. Consumer safety is our highest priority Quality products do come at a price. Please consider your options and choose the safest product on the market. Hovertrax can be found at Target, Nordstrom, Toys R Us, Brookstone, Dick’s, and Razor.com.
A couple weeks ago we post a blog stating that Inventist would not be open on Black Friday. That statement is still true! We will, however, still participate in Black Friday deals via Amazon! Starting Friday the 27 th , we will begin our “Human Powered Sale” which will include the following products: The Alkacharger ($15.00 off), Roll Up Sail (50% off!), and the beloved Lunicycle (50% off)! Holy deals Batman! The Alkacharger is one of our oldest products. It charges non-rechargeable Alkaline, Ni-Cd, and Ni-Mh batteries. Do you have kids who go through batteries like mad for their game console controllers? Don’t want to spend $50.00 on batteries each month? Then the Alkacharger is perfect for you! The Roll Up Sail, or RUS, is another brilliant invention by Chen. As an avid windsurfer Chen came up with this idea for Paddle boarders. The Roll Up Sail mounts to a standard paddle and allows you to harness the power of the wind! When you don’t want to use the Roll Up Sail simply roll it back up into the handle and continue paddling. Don’t miss out on this great deal! When the RUS runs out, it runs out for good! Finally, we’re having a great deal on our beloved Lunicycle. The Lunicycle was a Kickstarter success earlier this year. Everyone loves the Lunicycle! It looks deceivingly difficult to ride but it truly isn’t. For most people, learning how to ride the Lunicycle is easier than learning how to ride a regular unicycle. Don’t believe us? Order one this Black Friday and try it out yourself. Since Inventist will be closed for the Holidays this deal will only be live via Amazon.com. We hope you guys check out our sale and grab some truly unique products for your Holiday Season. We have products to fit everyone on your list!
How Hoverboards Work
Important Things Every Hoverboard User Should Know Self-balancing devices detect when you’re tipping forward or backward. When there’s a change in angle, the motor(s) accelerate toward the direction of the change. (The vehicle accelerates forward when it’s tipping forward.) The acceleration corrects the angle change. That’s how a hoverboard stays balanced, and it’s also how you can make it move by shifting your weight between your toes and heels. Since this is similar to the way we walk and run, riding a self-balancing vehicle feels natural and enjoyable. But while we can feel whether our legs are tired and we know how fast we can move them, we can’t intuitively tell how close a hoverboard is to its maximum power while we’re riding it. If your hoverboard isn’t very powerful, you could be constantly on the verge of falling down and not know it. Here are some technical details that could help you stay safe. Motor · You don’t need much power to move at a constant speed on flat ground. · Normal electric scooters with wheels in the front and back only need around 200W of power—that’s how much a hoverboard uses while cruising at steady speed on a smooth level surface. · But a hoverboard will need a huge surge of power when you hit a bump in the ground, when you accelerate or try to stop quickly, or when a beginner doesn’t have good control of the vehicle (among other situations). In those cases you may need as much as 1000W in order to continue balancing. · So the more motor power a balancing scooter has, the safer it is. · For instance, Hovertrax has 1000W of power (500W on each side); of the counterfeits we’ve tested so far, we haven’t found any that have that much power. Most only have around 250W on each side. · When you’re choosing a hoverboard, try to find out how much power it has—the more the better. Battery · All hoverboard batteries are lithium ion batteries, but there are different types within that category. Some are better-suited than others for self-balancing vehicles. · A hoverboard’s battery must supply enough current to handle surge power when required by the motor. · In other words, even if a motor is capable of 1000W, it won’t do any good if the battery doesn’t reliably provide enough power at those crucial moments. · Among the counterfeits we’ve tested, most used name brand batteries, but chose a low-current option for a lower cost. Those batteries don’t have enough surge power capability. · A lightweight rider (under 120lbs) can get away with using a low-powered board. Everyone else should exercise more caution. · When riding a low-powered unit, you probably feel just fine most of the time, but you are in fact more likely to have an accident. Fires · There have been several reports of hoverboards catching fire or even exploding. · This mostly seems to happen while charging, but there has been at least one incident where it happened during riding. · In some cases this has caused house fires and injuries. · The fires may be caused by certain types of batteries that are easily flammable. They may also be caused by faulty charging adapters. · Unfortunately it can be hard to tell for sure whether your unit and/or its charger can start a fire. · If you’re not sure, then don’t leave your hoverboard unattended while it’s charging (that includes charging it overnight while you sleep!). You also shouldn’t charge it in a part of the room that’s very close to you, such as under a desk you’re sitting at.
Rainy Days in the PNW
Fall has truly begun. Leaves are falling, rain is falling, but Inventist is moving on up! We’re set to be in major department stores this year and early next year. Things are hectic around the office but it’s all going to be worth it! We’d love to hear from you when you can see our products in your local Target, Toys R Us, Brookstone, and Best Buy! Even though fall is setting in there is still much to look forward to and plenty of opportunities to take your Solowheel out for strolls. There’s not much better than zooming around the PNW on a Solowheel in the Fall. Get the family together and hit the trails before this beautiful season ends! Solowheels are incredibly easy to travel with. Keep it with you at all times; you never know when the need for Solowheeling will strike! Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. To all of our loyal customers and new customers: we will be closed the 26 th and 27 th of this month, as well as the 24 th and 25 th of next month . This means that we will not be shipping any products those days. All orders place on those days will be received and sent the following Monday. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. Happiest of Holidays to you all!
The Daily Show
Be on the lookout for the Hovertrax to appear on The Daily Show by the end of the year (the crew said the segment will be ready in 3-5 weeks)! The film crew from The Daily Show has commandeered our Headquarters for the day. It’s business as usual for most of us but we can all hear the comical scenes being shot with Jessica Williams all around our building. The story is about the Hovertrax of course. Everyone is buzzing about “Hoverboards” since Back to the Future day on October 21 st . While the Hovertrax doesn’t quite hover, it’s as close as you can get. The big scoop involves the various lawsuits happening now, or that have already happened- check out the interview when it airs on Comedy Central to get the full story. Filming has been going on all day and is still in full swing. We’re all looking forward to seeing the final product. There are some scenes that sound hilarious! And, you get to see Jessica Williams learn how to Hovertrax! Recently, another Comedy Central star, Daniel Tosh purchased Hovertrax for his personal use. Naturally, Daniel has already used the Hovertrax in his show Tosh.0. The skit shows Daniel riding his Hovertrax around the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas getting ready to place a bet on the Dolphin/Patriot game. Daniel actually placed a bet on the game to raise money for his friend, and fellow comedian Andy Ritchie, to assist Andy with his medical bills. Daniel raised an initial $25,000 for his friend by selling random props from his show and then doubled it to $50,000 after the successful game bet. See the clip and read the full story with the link below: http://thecomicscomic.com/2015/10/29/daniel-tosh-raises-25000-for-andy-ritchies-medical-bills-doubles-down-betting-it-on-football/
Here at Inventist we do a lot of tradeshows and small events throughout the year. Showing our products, even at large events such as CES, the International Home and Housewares Show, Toy Fair, and Outdoor Retailer, still hasn’t been enough to capture awareness for our brand. We are a leader in the green technology/commuting industry and we’re always thinking up a new toy, rideable, or more efficient way to go about daily activities. The Alkacharger charges non-rechargeable batteries, the Ultradrainer is a multipurpose kitchen tool that saves time and space in the kitchen, and the Solowheel is a zero-emission vehicle to get you from point A to B. Our products are efficient, innovative, and fun! But public awareness has been lacking…until now! As early as this upcoming Holiday Season you will start to see the Inventist name in large, and very well known department stores such as Nordstrom and Toys R Us. We’re extremely excited that consumers across the United States will see our products while walking down the aisles of popular stores. Not only are we getting Inventist in to these stores, we are also keeping those pesky knockoffs from getting their feet in the door. Once these large department stores learned that our products are the only legitimately patented products they sought to get them on their shelves. The road has been long, but we’re start to see the light at the end of the tunnel! Let us know when you spy an Inventist creation in the aisles of your local Toys R Us, Nordstrom, Brookstone, Target, Sears, and Kmart! And don’t forget about our newest celebrities that have their very own Hovertrax or Solowheel! With popular celebs zooming around town on our devices we’re seeing awareness increase. Our products are no longer “the hoverboard thing” or “whatever that is” (referring to the Solowheel), they’re the Hovertrax and Solowheel by Inventist, Inc. More and more people each day realize that Inventist products are the patented, legal, and more superior product on the market and we couldn’t be more ecstatic.
What is a patent anyways?
A lot of people out there know about patents. The extent of that knowledge varies. If you were to ask random individuals walking down the street you may not find the correct answer. The answer is, “It is a property right for an invention granted by a government to the inventor. A United States patent gives inventors the right “to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling their invention throughout the United States or importing their invention into the United States for a limited time. In exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted and for fees paid to the United States.” (Bellis, “What Is A Patent?”). With that cleared up we can get into specifics. There are a few different types of patents. For the purposes of this article we’ll be focusing on two; utility and design. Creating something new and innovative is increasingly difficult as we dive further and further into the future. Technology has come so incredibly far in the last hundred years, not mention ten years! A utility patent is given to those who have invented a new process or product that is useful, and perhaps that has been an improvement upon such a product. In the United States, the invention being patented may not have been made public in any way, in any country, for one year prior to the application date. The invention must also be non-obvious, meaning, “An invention involves an inventive step if, when compared with what is already known, it would not be obvious to someone with a good knowledge and experience of the subject, for example, if you just make cosmetic changes that is obvious.” (Bellis, “What Can Be Patented?”). A design patent is just that. A patent provided to protect the design of an invention. A design must be new and original to be granted a patent. Both patents permit the patent holder to keep others from manufacturing and selling products that infringe on their patent. But, that doesn’t always mean there won’t be any competition. Friendly competition is wanted, welcome, and keeps innovators on their toes. Reverse engineering products that have had years of hard work, research, and dedication poured into them is not considered friendly competition. Shane Chen dedicated much of his time to improving upon a large, bulky, pedestrian transportation device. Out of his enthusiasm came two fascinating and innovative creations; the Solowheel and the Hovertrax. Both of these products have come to be consumer favorites for countless reasons. The modern simplistic design make the products look like they came from the future. The absence of hulking handles and colossal wheels allow for easy and hassle free storage, not to mention easy travel via all types of transportation! To hold a patent for an invention the invention has to be different, new, inspiring, something that hasn’t been seen publicly before. This is what we’re about at Inventist. Creating the next level of innovation; creating the future. Move independently. Move freely. Move different. Ride the future. 1. Bellis, M. (n.d). What Can Be Patented? Retrieved September 17, 2015. 2. Bellis, M (n.d). What Is A Patent? Retrieved September, 17, 2015.
All in a day's work
With a few hours notice, and Hovertrax in hand, one of our lovely employees was whisked away to New York to personally deliver a Hovertrax to the Good Morning America show late last night. The Hovertrax has been a blazing hot topic lately due to the growing community of knockoffs, lawsuits, and of course, the very vocal Mark Cuban. Due to a last minute change of plans, the employee who was to originally hand off the unit and be done, was asked to ride the Hovertrax during the segment. It was a very terrific and unexpected experience. Good Morning America will be airing (depending on where you are- already aired) the segment in their Wednesday the 23rd show. Don’t miss it! What a morning!
Ninebot Retaliates to Infringement Suit
Let’s cut to the chase. Segway is indeed suing us. Why? A few months ago we filed suit in China against Ninebot, a Chinese company, for patent infringement with their “Ninebot One”, an electric unicycle similar to our popular product the Solowheel. Then, on June 1st 2015 Inventist successfully detained a large Ninebot One shipment heading out of China. (Chinese customs has the authority to detain any goods that are infringing on a granted patent.) These events signify a giant step forward for US companies who are dealing with counterfeit goods being manufactured in China and then shipped out and sold all over the world. “This represents a big change in how China handles IP theft and I am pleased to see them taking action to prevent counterfeit products from leaving the country. We have pursued legal action against several manufacturers of counterfeit products but now we have an immediate solution to the problem”, says Shane Chen. Ninebot’s response is the subject of the latest gossip on the Internet: a lawsuit against us. Ninebot bought out Segway earlier this year, giving them the rights to Segway’s patents while also ending Segway’s infringement complaints against them and legitimizing Ninebot’s line of Segway-like products. To give credit where credit is due, self-balancing technology has been around for years. Since 1987, to be exact. An invention called the “Parallel Bicycle” was developed by Kazuo Yamafuji who is a Japanese professor and inventor. Mr. Yamafuji’s invention operates much like a Segway: it uses position sensors to balance on two parallel wheels. Sound familiar? One thing it doesn’t sound like: The Solowheel.
Dancing with the Hovertrax
We couldn’t have been more thrilled when the Dancing With The Stars tour stopped in Portland, OR and used the Hovertrax on stage during the show! Val, Keo, Alan and Sasha rode out one by one for an “interview” with host Melissa Rycroft. The Inventist team enjoyed watching these enthusiastic and personable performers show us what truly loving your profession is all about. We can hardly wait to see what they come up with when they feature the Hovertrax in an actual dance routine!
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