And so the research continues.
For my preliminary research I did surveys on Facebook with the same basic format. The questions were (approximately) as follows:
Would you purchase a _________ ice scraper?
How much would you pay for a _________ ice scraper?
How much do you want this product? 1-4
Any other comments, feature suggestions, or general thoughts on this product?
On each product I got 10-40 responses, enough to tell which were good and which were bad (there were several that there was a nearly unanimous "NO" response to whether they would buy it.
Thus I narrowed my ideas down to these five:
- Ice Scraper with Sprayer
- Ice Scraper with Hand Guards
- Ice Scraper with Heated Handle
- Ice Scraper with a Flashlight
- Innovative Ice Scraper Blade
Several of these were really difficult to find similar products, so I did the best I could.
For pretty much all of them, the price range was about $5-$20 so that will be good to keep in mind. I also learned from Amazon reviews that above everything else, functionality is most important. This is something I already knew but this only cemented that knowledge.
Flashlight: a scraper with a light attached.
Ice scraper with lamp
CN 201998958 U
Hand Protection: a scraper combined with a mitten.
Combination ice scraper and mitt
US 4683592 A
Heated Handle: a scraper with a heatable material in the handle.
Thermal ice scraper
WO 2007001250 A1
Innovative: an ice scraper with a thin, flexible, metal blade.
CA 2464211 A1
Spray: ice scraper with sprayer on end.
Windshield ice scraper with de-icing solution dispenser
US 7832955 B1
For the flashlight, the biggest issue will be having a bright flashlight that isn't blocked by the user's arm during use.
For the heated handle, a power source that isn't heavy or cumbersome could be an issue.
For hand protection, it will be difficult to create a guard that protects against snow while allowing movement, as well as not capturing snow accidentally.
For the paint scraper imitation idea, making this product cheap while retaining flexibility could be difficult.
For the sprayer, holding enough spray to be effective could be difficult.