Popular Science is looking for the year’s best independent inventions This is for our May 2014 Invention Awards issue (the 8th year running) We feature game-changing innovations developed by determined, independent inventors With few exceptions, we don’t feature the work of academic or corporate R&D labs Inventors can enter by filling out our entry form atpopsci.com/inventionawardsform
The entry form will close after 11:59pm ET on January 15, 2014 Our editors will pick 10 finalists by the end of January Winners will embody the spirit of homegrown ingenuity and solve real-world problems in original ways They will be featured cross-platform in print (~7 million readers), tablet (~100,000 readers), and online (~4 million readers) Winning inventions are often featured on TV, radio, web, podcasts, and other outlets Rules/criteria: There is no fee to submit, and there are no prizes. An invention should be poised to create a market or disrupt an existing one—not be a solution in search of a problem.
Inventions should not just be minor tweaks to existing objects, products, or processes Inventions can’t already be for sale Inventions must be the work of independent inventors or small teams Outside funding is fine (Harrison Ford backed one of our winners), but big academic/corporate R&D lab inventions won’t be considered There must be a working prototype, or something that demonstrates an invention works Pictures are worth a thousand words (and videos even more) We love inventions that are physical objects and/or are very visual Our researchers and editors will contact outside experts to verify the technology and significance of the invention Intellectual property (IP) protection is the responsibility of the entrant.
Last year’s winners: Synergy airplane – An affordable homebuilt aircraft designed with maximum efficiency in mind. (http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-04/aviation-family-flier) GravityLight – A household lamp powered by the weight of a bag of rocks. (http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-04/lighting-ballast-bulb) WindMaker helmet – A welding helmet that blows away toxic fumes. (http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-04/safety-fume-fighter) Alfa cardboard bike – A $30 ride made of recycled packaging, bottles, and car parts. (http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-04/transportation-cardboard-bike) HYPER APU – A fuel-saving cooling system powered by a truck’s exhaust heat. (http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-04/energy-hot-savings) 3G space suit – A sleek, comfortable suit designed to protect tomorrow’s high-flying space tourists. (http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-04/space-suborbital-safeguard) Roy the Robot – A programmable animatronic robotics kit. (http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-04/electronics-robotic-performer) JamStik – A compact MIDI guitar that helps budding musicians learn to shred. (http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-04/music-digital-ax) Bounce Imaging Explorer – A wireless data-gathering grenade to toss into danger. (http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-04/emergency-response-smart-ball) Versa Foot – A prosthetic limb designed by an amputee that puts athletes back in the game. (http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-04/medicine-firm-footing)