Earlier this month at InventHelp's INPEX 2014 -- the largest invention trade show in the country, held in Pittsburgh -- medals were given out in 40 categories, with more than 300 inventors vying for the hardware.
A Boca man named Mart Goodall took home a gold medal in the Sports category for his invention called CableBuds. What looks like a small circular object the size of a quarter or so is actually tiny magnets embedded in an ultra lightweight disc that attach to a thin metal plate placed behind clothes, according to the product's site. This traps the earphone cables to clothes, forming a magnetic clip that will not damage what you're wearing.
The clips (which cost about $10) come in standard black and white or in a whole line of designer sets: clips with an American flag on them or "WWJD" or even different smiley faces. They're available at CableBuds.com, but they're also sold as customizable promotional products, if businesses desire.
Goodall -- who's originally from England but has lived in Boca Raton the past 19 years -- thought of the idea while biking with friends in 2012. The former CEO of a printing company that Pitney Bowes bought in '06 and a longtime tech officer and consultant to various printing software companies, Goodall saw his $200 headphones end up in his bike's wheel.
"I was really frustrated that I ruined those headphones, so I went to look for something to clip them up for next time. But to my surprise, there wasn't anything like that yet. I actually wanted one, and I just figured, you know, I can make this myself."
So he formed DryBonez, the company that sells CableBuds and has a patent pending. Goodall, for now, has his eggs in DryBonez, but he's encouraged by what it could turn into because of how the invention conference went.
"I can't say I expected to win gold, but I was pretty hopeful to win something. Just based off the reaction of people seeing it beforehand. Without exception, everyone saw a use for it. It's tough to get a product off the ground and into the consumer's hands, but I know I have a good product."
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