Cool Product Expo Kicks Off Today


I was lucky last year at this time to be in Palo Alto, California speaking to a group of manufacturing executives on the same day the very neat Cool Product Expo kicked off. So I actually got to see some of the displays that were truly revolutionary. There was the bike that had been engineered so a young child couldn’t fall off, even without training wheels. Wow, that would change childhood.

The display that was the hardest to wrap my mind around was the Space Elevator, an actual plan to build an elevator into space, operating off a thin gossamer ribbon. There’d never need to be a space shuttle if the space elevator was built. I blogged on this and the other products and got more interesting comments back about the space elevator than any blog entry I ever did. Lots of people interested in that technology. Click on the link above to read all about it.

Today, the 2007 Cool Product Expo opens in Palo Alto at Stanford University. Wish I could be there again this year, but I won’t make it. Next best thing any of us can do is to visit their very creative website. Click here to check it out.

There are amazing products at this expo. There are a couple of themes that seem to run through this year’s entries. Sustainable products for developing countries is one. There is a research consortium that wants to build power sources for areas that don’t have access to electricity, appropriately called d.light…Then there is Meridian Design which makes small scale water treatment systems for similar developing areas. Having a source of clean water is one of the rising challenges in many parts of the world and AquaStar is a step toward addressing it. Click on the company name, above, to learn more.

The other theme at the Expo seems to be on really different ways to design and build new kinds of automobiles. There are several exhibitors that show off futuristic vehicles that are truly inventive and cool. Check out CalCars, Myers Motors, Tesla Motors and Toyota, showing off its self-parking Lexus LS 460. Last year, Ford and General Motors had exhibits.

And if you are in the Bay Area, do make the trip out there today from 12 to 5 to see these cool manufactured products yourself. Admission is free at the Arrillaga Alumni Center. Manufacturing is definitely cool in America and this exhibit is another way to show it.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Brian says:

    There’d never need to be a space shuttle if the space elevator was built.

    Well, not really. There will be plenty of work for conventional rocketry in ground to orbit applications, even if ‘plenty’ is a niche market.

    Example; a space elevator will be bad at inserting loads quickly into a precise orbit; for some time to come a traditional rocket would be better at that, or delivery of ‘people’ to LEO.

    Brian Dunbar