Electronics have become an integral part of the 21st century life. Many of us can’t live without our Blackberrys or iPhones, constantly checking emails or using apps to manage our lives. There are those who need to have their MP3 players perennially hooked on their ears. Many kids nowadays carry with them their Nintendos or Gameboys to play videogames on the go. Digital cameras, smartphones, camcorders and videos, USB drives, and other gadgets have become commonplace in our lives.
Now imagine if you suddenly dropped your favorite gadget in the swimming pool, pond or, horrors, the toilet. Take for example your phone, which contains all your business contacts and calendar, becoming waterlogged and non-functional! This can be a disaster of epic proportions.
Two sisters, Karen Wildman and Lisa Holmes, have come up with a solution to help waterlogged gadgets come back to life. Calling their electronics drying product Bheestie Bag http://www.bheestie.com – which in Hindi means “a servant who draws and carries water” — this sealable Mylar bag contains a pouch of clay beads that can absorb wetness and moisture in a device. For the most waterlogged gadgets, it may take about 24-72 hours for the bag to dry out the item.
The idea for the Bheestie Bag came when Wildman’s son dropped his Game Boy in a pond in 2002. With his son’s cry of dismay, Wildman’s mommy instinct went overdrive to help her son. She decided to try the drying technique she’s been using for her hearing devices. Suffering from hearing loss since she was a baby, Wildman typically uses clay beads to dry out her hearing aids. She decided to do the same; and placed the Game Boy in a bag of clay beads. Voila! The technique succeeded in absorbing the water from the device. The Game Boy came back to life, and her son was happy.
Looking at the popularity of gadgets and knowing how gadget-crazy many people are, she soon realized that there is a need out there for a solution to dry out gadgets and bring them back to life. Together with her sister Lisa, Wildman started to design the equipment and made prototypes.
They knew that the technique worked to rescue all kinds of waterlogged gadgets. However, they needed to research how to do it more effectively and efficiently. It took them a lot of trial and error to come up with the right prototype for the product, creating a bag where the user can simply drop the device inside, seal it and let the product pull away the moisture. It took these enterprising sisters about five years to create their electronics-drying Bheestie Bags.
Bheestie Bags hit the market in 2008, selling locally first in the Portland, Oregon area. Since then, they have sold more than 10,000 bags in the outdoor retail store REI; their own website Bheestie.com; other online stores such as Amazon.com, CampSaver.com, and Tent-Sales.com, and other retail establishments. They are now targeting national retailers to carry their product. As one customer said in a review of the product, if you are willing to spend $400 for your tech gadget, surely $20 to revive it when it gets waterlogged is a no-brainer.
Wildman and Holmes have shown that great ideas are everywhere – you just have to find the need.