Local inventors bring bright ideas to life

March 29, 2010 10:28:36 AM PDT
Chicago area inventors show off their products on ABC7 News at 11 a.m.Drinkmarx:

Drinkmarx, drinkmarx.com, are customizable drink markers that attach to water bottles to tell them apart in a group. They are available in a variety of colors and designs; the markers are reusable and fit any drink container.

Inventor Christine Holland from Downers Grove came up with the idea for a better way to keep track of water bottles while at her son's soccer game a year and a half ago. She says the colorful markers help end confusion at sport events or while working out at a health club; and they eliminate waste from paper cups and plastic bottles.

Drinkmarx is available online at drinkmarx.com. The price is $9.95 plus $2.95 S/H for a package of 4 drink markers in a variety of colors including a customizing sticker set. For more information call (773) 732-5676.

Get Home Smart Card:

The reloadable gift card is used to pay for cab rides. The card is sold for $25 and allows you to add additional amounts. It is accepted by most cab companies that accept major credit cards. Check with you local cab companies to see if they will accept the card.

Inventor Rosette Marturana from Mount Prospect designed the card because she worried about her 21 year old son drinking and driving. She says giving taxi gift cards to young adults provides a way for them to get home safely.

The Get Home Smart Card is available online at gethomesmartcard.com for $25.


A concealer for your feet, T!ntalize, tintalize.com, claims to diminish the appearance of blemishes including age spots, discolorations, abrasions, scars, tan lines and veins. It also promises to be waterproof, sweat proof, rub proof, smudge proof, and long lasting. It is available in 7 different shades to match any skin tone.

Inventors Sidney Dillard and Allyson Carey both Chicago natives, developed T!ntalize when Allyson wanted to cover up imperfections on her feet. The two met on their way to Stanford University and have been close friends ever since.

T!ntalize is available for online at tintalize.com. Prices range from $11 to $15. For more information call (310) 209-8467.


OrigAudio, origaudio.com, includes a set of 3-inch cube speakers known as "Fold-N-Play." Inspired by origami, the Japanese art of paper-folding, the self-powered, portable speakers start out flat and then fold together to form a cube. Made from recycled materials, the speakers attach to any electronic device.

Inventor Mike Szymczak from Chicago developed these speakers because he was always traveling and wanted an easier way to listen to music on the go.

OrigAudio is available online at origaudio.com for $19.99 a single speaker and $79.99 for a pack of 6. For more information call (847) 852-3353.

Fairytale Wishes:

This line of natural aromatherapy sprays is designed to help children overcome their fears. Each bottle comes with a fairytale written by Freddy, the magic frog. You can choose lavender-scented Sweet Dreams, Bubblegum Monster Repellent, Super Hero for extra courage, or grape-scented Happy Camper.

Inventor Debbie Glickman from Chicago developed the products to help her two young children overcome anxieties at bedtime. Spraying lavender scent on her children's pillows to help them sleep led her to develop the four Fairytale Wishes sprays.

Fairytale Wishes are available online at fairytalewishesinc.com and at the Oprah Store online at theoprahstore.com or at 37 N. Carpenter St, Chicago. A personalized fairytale accompanies each 4-ounce bottle of spray for $10. For more information call (847) 687-4332 or the Oprah store at (312) 633-2100.


Inventor Sue Zeiler of Chicago put a new twist on the undergarment for babies known as a "onesie." The Peek-a-Belly, peek-a-belly.com, is designed with a patterned Velcro patch over the front to make a baby's tummy easily accessible.

Sue says she developed the onesie for mothers, grandmothers and other relatives who like to kiss and tickle a baby's belly.

Peek-a-belly onesies are available online at peek-a-belly.com and also at stores located in the Chicago area, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin; visit the website for locations. The price is $28 for short sleeves and $30 for long sleeves.

Stickin' Together Kidz Calendar:

Customized with 700 stickers, the12-month calendar is aimed at busy families. Monthly stickers allow you to start the calendar at anytime during the year. The event stickers can be moved around as plans change. They indicate holidays, sporting events, lessons and practices, "picture day," "field trips," special occasions and more. There are even stickers for "blended families," as well as picture games and puzzles. The calendar keeps track of family activities and events, and encourages parent-child interaction.

Inventor Catherine Gouwens of Lemont created the calendar after becoming frustrated while trying to keep track of the family schedule; tacking post-it notes to her calendar just didn't work. She thought there must be a better way to keep families organized, and came up with her Stickin' Together Kidz Calendar.

Stickin' Together Kidz Calendars are available online at kidzcalendars.com for $12.99 plus S/H as well as on Amazon.com.