Through my group survey I discovered that my customers were looking for the relief of pain from having to use a manual shovel to discard snow from driveways and pathways. Through this the products that came through were tools used for this and one outlier being a glove for couples (Together Gloves, see previous posts).
An idea that was probably really useful was the Iron Man inspired suit that supports your body during snow removal. I figured because of the lack of technology around this sort of suit it would be close to impossible to create an affordable product from this. I changed this product to a back support system you use during snow removal. Other than that all the products are the same as the sketches in previous blog posts.
Benchmarking using 2x2 Clusters
Back Support System
Because there isn't something made specifically for this purpose I found back supports used in the healthcare industry. They ranged from simple supports to supports used in therapeutic applications.
The patent I found is Patent #WO 201106764 A1 which is a therapeutic back device used to support the whole back.
Approx. Manufacturing Cost = $33.28
The biggest concern with creating this product would be making it sturdy enough to support but flexible enough to be comfortable to wear.
I used this 2x2 to compare with objects such as snowblowers and manual push shovel since they are most comparable.
I found a patent for a plow shovel Patent #CN 20228003 8U.
Approx. Manufacturing Cost = $46.00
The biggest concern with this is probably making people understand the cost effectiveness of this product. Meaning why buy this instead of a snow blower.
Ice Chipper Snow Blower Attachment
This originally started as a full snowblower with an attachment on it. I have since changed with because through my research I have discovered people would not purchase this solely because they already own a snowblower. So it makes much more sense to position this as an attachment to your current snowblower. I felt this was novel because the only ice chipper available is manual and causes a lot of strain to a person.
The 2x2 examines different tools used to remove ice build up in driveways.
This patent is for an ice chipper used in sport fishing Patent #CA 2353092 A1.
Approx. Manufacturing Cost = $4.20
The biggest concern with this is making it work without it damaging the surface under the ice.
Robotic Snow Blower
Because there is no actual snow blower robot I compared this to robotic cleaning devices and how this might stack up against them. This seems novel because there is no other on the market currently and would be very practical for users with disabilities, the elderly, or the rich. It could even be possibly employed by cities to clear roadways.
I found a patent that resembles a robotic base that would be similar in shape to the one used for this product. Patent #US 6523629B1
Approx. Manufacturing Cost = $55.20
The biggest concern is if this product could be able to handle all types of snow i.e. dry and wet snow.
The outlier of the group, I choose to explore this one because there seemed to be interest in this silly little product because of its novelty. Its fun and a good way to hold hands in the cold! Think about pulling this out on a first date! Hah! Anyways there is a lack of nice, mass-produced gloves out there.
2x2 is comparing against comparable products.
No patent relating to a hand holding glove so I found a patent to a piece that holds gloves together.
Approx. Manufacturing Cost = $15.00
The biggest concern for this product is making it cost effective as I would need this to be mass produceable.