World-changing devices don’t need to come from big labs funded with big money. Sometimes radical technological innovations roll, whir, or fly out of basements and garages.
Do you know you’ve invented something that’s poised to disrupt a market, or have you toiled building prototype after prototype in your home workshop to prove your idea works? Whether you’re a professional engineer working on a self-funded side project, a hobbyist who has launched a successful crowdfunding campaign to refine your gadget, or an obsessive teenager who’s built a sellable product in your bedroom, please tell us about it! Enter the seventh annual Popular Science Invention Awards.
We’re looking for game-changing products developed by passionate, independent inventors — not academic or corporate R&D labs. Popular Science editors will pick 10 entries that best represent the spirit of homegrown ingenuity and solve real-world problems in a practical, innovative way. Then, in our May 2013 issue, seven million readers will get the first look at the winners.
Send a short description about your invention to email@example.com, and feel free to attach photos, links to videos, or provide outside testimony (note: your e-mail entry should be no larger than 25MB). Below are some key guidelines:
- Inventions must be physical objects — not abstract processes or concepts.
- There must be a working prototype, or something that demonstrates that an invention actually works.
- An invention should be poised to create a market or disrupt an existing one (in other words, not be a boondoggle in search of a problem).
- Inventions must be the work of independent inventors or small teams; outside funding is fine (even from movie stars), but inventions created wholly inside universities or other R&D labs won’t be considered.
- Inventions intended to become commercial products are acceptable, but they must not already be available for sale.
- Inventions must be something new, not just a minor, incremental improvement on an existing object or product.
- Popular Science will not publish an entry online or in print without notifying the inventor first, but we will contact outside experts to verify the technology and significance of the invention.
- All intellectual-property protection is the responsibility of the entrant.
- All entries must be received by January 14, 2013 (the earlier, the better).
Finally, we encourage you to review winners from previous years — e.g. 2012, 2011, or 2010 — to see what kinds of inventions make the cut.