Invention

Happe-ness is a grit-free beach drink

By GREGORY ZELLER // Inventor Jeanne Cilmi is not reinventing the wheel. But her Happe Holder still dreams big. Standing 8.5 inches tall on four sturdy legs, the portable, elevated cup holder aims to keep beverages out of the grass and sand when you’re picnicking at the park or beach – a modest goal, Cilmi admits, though not an unimportant one. “I’m not curing any major illnesses here,” she said. “Just making a day at…


Getting a leg up on physical therapy

By GREGORY ZELLER // You’re doing your physical therapy all wrong. That’s not a stretch, says Nassau BOCES physical therapist Mary Ann Malizia, who claims a common exercise performed daily by tens of thousands of athletes and patients – and by the PTs, trainers and chiropractors assisting them – is done incorrectly, bad news for anyone recovering from leg injuries or hoping to prevent them. Most people stretching their hamstrings or calf muscles prior to…


Prototyping and production, right here on LI

By GREGORY ZELLER // Long Island tinkerers needn’t look to other domestic regions or overseas when they want to prototype or manufacture their designs – there are Island-based options that can turn their dreams into real-world products. Manufacturing services are “within very close reach” of Long Island inventors, who “don’t have to go elsewhere, especially overseas, to take an idea on a napkin to production,” according to Arto Cinoglu, vice president of Bohemia-based Dart Manufacturing….


Victor Susman pictures a very orderly future

By GREGORY ZELLER // Victor Susman wants to set a few billion things straight. That’s his estimate for the number of old family photos out there – actual printed photographs, existing not on a screen but in hard copy, stuffed into shoeboxes and albums. Before they disintegrate into dust or are otherwise lost to history, Susman wants to see them scanned into digital format. But like anyone who’s ever tried to scan a photo or…


Collaboration, the mother of invention

By GREGORY ZELLER // Even Brian Fried was impressed. And he holds more than a dozen patents and trademarks. Fried, founder of the Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club of Suffolk County, has seen plenty of inventions come along over the years, but the breadth of inventiveness on display at the club’s annual product showcase event on Tuesday – ranging from a voice recorder with law enforcement potential to a fresh take on bathtubs – fascinated even…


The Inventors: Caryn Horsley helps women find Inner Peace

By GREGORY ZELLER // It’s not easy to discuss. Even Caryn Horsley hesitates over some of the intimate details. But incontinence is familiar to many Americans – 13 million of them, according to WebMD, with the loss of bladder control twice as prevalent among women. Horsley believes she has a subtle and graceful solution, and she’s happy to discuss it, even if the subject matter sometimes gives her or her audience pause. A self-described “jack…


The Inventors: Elaine Schroeck and the Lawn Buddy

By GREGORY ZELLER // Elaine Schroeck doesn’t mind caring for her lawn. She’s just bothered by having to do it twice. Every. Single. Time. Like most do-it-yourself home gardeners, Schroeck is trapped in a lawn maintenance time warp: She’ll haul out her push lawnmower, mow the grass surrounding her East Islip home, then put the mower away, break out the trimmer and head around the property again, neatening up the edges and corners the mower…


The inventors: Sharone Piontkowski knows every woman’s arch enemy

By GREGORY ZELLER // If the shoe fits, Sharone and Shlomo Piontkowski may soon deliver a medical breakthrough of fashionable proportions. Sharone, a Port Jefferson native and New York City-based architectural designer, and Shlomo, a retired surgeon who helped pioneer arthroscopy at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital, are developing a special insert that could prevent chronic injuries caused by the most unnatural of human footwear: the high-heeled shoe. A final product is a year away at best,…


No Picture

The Inventors: Solomon Wasserman and the actually-keep-you-dry raincoat

By GREGORY ZELLER // If there’s one thing a raincoat should do, it’s keep you dry in the rain. But they don’t, actually, or at least not from about the knees down. As Solomon Wasserman discovered on his way to the synagogue one rainy Saturday morning, and again on the way home. “I got wet below my thigh, and my shoes were full of water,” said Wasserman, a Ukrainian immigrant, by way of Moldova, who now…


The Inventors: J.J. Valenti and the J-Tray

By GREGORY ZELLER // Joseph “J.J.” Valenti understands the ups and downs of the contracting industry. As a 20-year veteran of painting and carpentry projects, the solopreneur has climbed and descended his trusty ladder more times than he can count. And he knows the importance of being steady on the top rung – and not just himself, but his trusty tools as well. The lesson was driven home about three years ago, when the flimsy…


The Inventors: Joe Ferraro, Smart ECO-Cap

As the veteran manager of a small manufacturing company with a long aerospace history, Joe Ferraro is accustomed to working with his hands. In particular, he works often with steel and other hard metals, giving him a workman’s grip that, at a minimum, should be able to easily puncture something as flimsy as the safety seal on a bottle of vitamins. Or so he thought. It was during a titanic struggle with such a safety…