American Inventor Judge DOUG HALL BLOGGED LIVE! - Anecia Car Seat Survival Capsule – Q&A

doughallphotoMy choice for the final four is The Anecia Survival Capsule. It’s the invention of Janusz Liberkowski This invention is a true “new to the world” concept. As such it has generated a lot of technical debate and discussion. I do not presume to know all of the answers. However the following are my personal perceptions and opinions. They are not the opinions of Janusz, Freemantle, the producers, ABC or anyone else.

1. How does the Anecia Survivor Capsule work?

When a car crashes there are two collisions. The first is when the car hits the other car or obstacle. The second is when the baby hits the seat belt or when the baby’s head get’s shaken and snapped in the direction of the impact, at the same speed that the car was going before the crash. In general, the most severe injuries including fatalities are to the head. The whipping action of the child’s head, and the forces on the head and neck structure during any impact are the main cause of the children fatality.

In the crash test that was run it was calculated that at 30 miles an hour the force on the baby’s neck is 74 lbs for a classic car seat and just 8 lbs for the Anecia Surival Capsule. At 60 miles an hour the force on the baby’s neck is 147 lbs for a classic car seat and just 9 lbs for the Anecia Surival Capsule.

Classic car seats are designed to try and “hold” the child. With no ability to "hold" the child’s head. With a classic rear facing seat this works if the crash is directly from the front and the seat is on very, very tight. In this case the seat (and safety belts) absorbs the impact against the child’s back. The child’s back, in this case, is supported under small angle to the impact vector force. The head of a child (after impact) is in motion (with big energy) "up hill" of this angle. This motion causes loadings on the child’s delicate neck structure.

Alternatively, Anecia Survival Capsule by positioning the child vertically, supports the head, absorbs the energy of the impact and lowers tremendously chance of injury or death.

Research indicates that – 75% of the time parents do not put their babies in the seats properly i.e. the seat not tight enough into the car and the straps not tight enough on the baby. The result is a second collision that can cause massive damage. In the case of an accident that is from any angle other then directly from the front – the child and in particular the child’s head – becomes a bouncing ping pong ball. The Anecia Survival Capsule protects the baby from crashes from all directions. When the force hits the baby instantly shifts. The force is absorbed, as the baby is rotated perpendicular to the impact force. And, most importantly, if the car spins, bounces or is hit more than once the seat automatically adapts in less than .005 seconds to align the baby and protect the baby. No matter what direction the hit is from the baby’s head and neck are always supported.

2. How do we know that it will really work?

We have had a USC PhD Biomedical scientist and an expert with Masters in Physics and Computer Science model the seat’s physics on a theoretical basis relative to the dynamics of a baby’s body. They concluded that the theory is sound. In particular they found that the speed of reaction in a crash is fast enough to protect the baby from the damaging forces that can be caused by the sudden jolts. The experimental results detailed earlier confirmed the findings.

3. Is the Anecia Survival Capsule too big?

The Anecia is not as big as it looks when they do close ups on TV. It’s only about 20% larger than a classic baby seat. It looks big because of the protective sides and the fact that the baby is lying down instead of being propped up. The seat is actually a series of pieces – the base unit is attached to the existing seat belt system. The dome capsule snaps into that. The cradle for the baby is removable – making it easy to lift the baby in and out – and to attach to an optional stroller frame. The Capsule is the size it is to insure Maximum Safety. It could easily be made smaller – however the current design PROTECTS THE ENTIRE FOOTPRINT – so to insure that in the event of a crash there is nothing to stop rotation and cause sudden jolts or impacts. The ultimate design of the seat will fit 95% of the cars registered in the USA. It’s anticipated that the first generation of seats will be for infants up to 7 months of age. This is the age when it is most important to protect the delicate head and neck of infants.

4. What will it cost?

Current deluxe infant seats cost about $250. It’s estimated that The Anecia will be about $295. Given the short time that the seat is used (up to age 7 months) – a marketing strategy is being looked at to build a special version for use as a rental. Parents could rent the Anecia for the 7 months – saving money and peace of mind.

5. What about this product called "the SafetyEgg" isn’t it the same thing?

The egg uses the same dynamics of dissipating momentum as Anecia. However, in my opinion it falls short as it only protects in two dimensions – front to back and side to side. This is fine if your accident is a direct hit from these directions – AND if the car doesn’t SPIN when it’s hit. While I’ve never been in a crash in the Safety Egg – I think that it would be like the feeling when on a roller coaster and the direction is suddenly changed – as the seat went from one direction to the next the shock on the body could be tremendous. The SafetyEgg movement is limited by the sets of two perpendicular hinges. The Anecia Survival Capsule is free floating hemisphere seat inside of the hemisphere protecting shell. The beauty of Anecia is that it works in 360 degrees – with no limitations. No matter what direction the car is hit from, or how the car spins the seat will dissipate the force of the collision. IN ADDITION – the SafetyEgg’s smaller size increases the potential for danger i.e. if the seat were to get caught or hit something as it spun the benefits of the seat would be compromised. Alternatively, the Anecia protects the footprint creating a complete safety zone.

May 7, 2006
by Doug Hall

What’s Janusz really like?

Recently I got to spend a day with Janusz, his wife and two children.

I came away from the experience with a sense that he is authentic, genuine and real.

I’m impressed with his scientific knowledge.

I’m equally impressed by his sense of family and friendship. The wonderful Polish feast we shared will live long in my memory.

About 22 years ago he had a successful business in Northern Poland. When the communists installed marshal law – He did not see a future for his family in communist Poland, even though he had, his successful business and home – a home that he had designed and built over a 7-year period.

So he made the decision to seek freedom – he decided to give up everything he had for freedom. His wife and daughter left to visit family in the USA. Without telling anyone, Janusz then made his way to West Berlin. Every day he went to the US Embassy seeking a visa. After 30 days he got one and traveled to meet his family. They would soon get green cards then citizenship and settle in Northern California.

He is a mechanical engineer by training with 8 patents plus one patent pending. Prior to the competition he was designing the mechanical components to advanced medical equipment.

Janusz is also a painter, poet, scuba diver, chess player and his wife says – a great dancer. The Poem below was written for the occasion of a friends wedding.

The Truth

We look in each other eyes
Because we want to achieve
All these things everybody has
Anxiously, in a never ending chase
We are afraid to stop
To perceive the truth
From discursive reminiscence
We are building our life
In aspiration to be happy
We are justifying
Even standing we are still running farther
Deaf, blind with no sense of touch
Only sometimes pacified by falling to sleep
We have our premonition of is existent
Only in a dream
But the love is all that there is
And who we are

Janusz Liberkowski

America is an immigrant nation. And just as many of our forefathers came to America seeking freedom and a better life – so too did Janusz.

Yes my friends the American Dream – lives in Janusz Liberkowski.

May 7, 2006
by Alexis

Hi Doug

Welcome Back!!!!

May 7, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Thanks for the inside peek

Thanks for the inside peek at the Anecia. That thing just looked ginormous on my screen, I'm glad to learn differently.

May 7, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Hi Doug: Welcome back. Any

Hi Doug:

Welcome back. Any more of an update on Season 2? What are the factors that would determine whether we will have a second season?

May 7, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Doug: thanks for taking the

Doug: thanks for taking the Questions. Do you forsee a
major problem with both the size of the unit and that
there is a patent model being worked on now,thanks

May 7, 2006
by Amarsir

Excellent info on the Anecia

You confirmed my optimism and answered a lot of doubts about it. (Not all, but as you said it's a technical issue).

Another somewhat pessimistic q:

  • Everyone I've spoken with thinks the test for the FlushPure was a sham. At least in my circle people understand "control groups" better than ABC does. I fear this will hurt the FlushPure's eventual image if a controlled study isn't done. Any plans for that?
  • May 7, 2006
    by Doug Hall

    Season 2

    It's not about the Inventor or the Inventions -- it's all about the Ratings.

    AND -- ABC TV's vision for the show.

    Rumor has it that they're very happy with the concept -- but they'd like a few more eye balls watching

    May 7, 2006
    by Doug Hall

    Flush Pure test

    Joe & Jenny are not responsible for the test. It was set up by the producers -- it was not close to ideal.

    To me the biggest WOW was the photo from above -- that showed the mushroom cloud even when the lid was down

    May 7, 2006
    by Doug Hall

    Dumbest moment

    The most ridiculous moment of last weeks show -- was having men judge Sharon's product -- how dumb was that -- some one clearly messed -- and it wasn't Sharon.

    May 7, 2006
    by Alexis

    Who did you fight for?

    When the contestants were being narrowed down to the final 12, you fought for an inventor? Who was it?

    May 7, 2006
    by Amarsir

    Restoom Door Clip Concept to Final

    I and others have said we like the original door clip better than the final. Mainly because the color stood out and it seemed stronger. Is that curved grey model going to be the final one? (Assuming it gets produced, which it really should).

    May 7, 2006
    by Alexis

    Photo from above

    I agree. That photo had the best wow factor because everyone kept saying that you could just close the tiolet seat.

    May 7, 2006
    by Anonymous (not verified)

    Speaking of Sharon....

    I asked this somewhere else, but perhaps I should ask again...where can I buy Sharon's door kit?

    May 7, 2006
    by Doug Hall

    Size of Anecia

    I don't see it as a problem. Except maybe in Peter's Bently sports car.

    As I said in the earlier post -- it could easily be made smaller -- but that would compromise safety. And that's non-negotiable.

    It's also not nearly as large as you think. Myself -- as the father of 3 -- I vote for safety.

    May 7, 2006
    by Paul Berman (not verified)

    Safety Egg

    Good afternoon Janusz, and congratulations on your advancement to the finals. When you did the crash test, were you provided with numerical data regarding the reduction in stress on the infant's body?

    May 7, 2006
    by Amarsir

    The most ridiculous moment

    The most ridiculous moment of last weeks show -- was having men judge Sharon's product

    Hehe, I was going to get to that eventually, thanks.

    Rumor has it that they're very happy with the concept -- but they'd like a few more eye balls watching

    Is there an email addy at ABC to whom I can send stories I've heard of "I tuned in once but couldn't stand the sappiness?"

    May 7, 2006
    by Sharon Clemens

    Restroom door clip concept

    I appreciate all the support and feedback I've received through internet forums like American Inventor Spot. There are a few general things I'd like to say about my invention and the people I met through my experience on American Inventor.

    The $50,000 doesn't all go to prototyping - where you can "see" the dollars. In my case it went to market research, testing, prototyping, packaging and pitch coaching. Yes, the focus group being all men was not ideal or of my choosing but I listened because feedback can come from anywhere.

    Most of the inventors agreed their prototypes still need fine tuning. Prototyping is a process which gives us much of what we wanted in our products, but we still need to do some refinement. There were a few things that didn't make it through the edit - like exactly how I will be refining my product(s). I agree that I like parts of the first clip I developed and parts of the Stall Stopper. Check where I'll keep you updated with development news.

    Doug Hall, my wonderful mentor, made it possible to take this simple clip and make it a much bigger idea. I listened intently to all the valuable feedback I got from Doug, my excellent design team and consumers which made my product better. I'm not through listening.

    Like Doug said, we had a dream team and I love all the inventors in my group - Joe, Jen and Janusz - along with admiring all the other inventors I met along the way. It's inspiring to see so many people doing something with their ideas.

    May 7, 2006
    by Think Outside T...
    Think Outside The Circle's picture


    It took me a few minutes to read your blog, add a few photos and get things moving, but... thanks again for everything.

    Question: Who do you think WILL win? Not necessarily who do you think should win. (I think I know the answer)

    May 7, 2006
    by Anonymous (not verified)

    In the earlier live blog you

    In the earlier live blog you had, you mentioned that you chose all the three inventors that you mentored. I think the Anecia and pure flush are two of the best inventions in the final 12. but with you mentoring both of them, only one could move forward. Total bummer. (BTW - i think Sharon's door clip was great too but a big enough idea to have won being the "American Inventor")

    May 7, 2006
    by Doug Hall

    The wonderful Sharon

    Sharon's product was made into a "kit" so to get the financial numbers to forecast. I was especially concerned about Peter's vote (yes -- it was Sharon that I staked my reputation on - and at that time we thought all the judges would be voting) And yes -- you didn't see it but the tall Brit did apologize to me on the set.

    The new clip has a hanger on it. Don't freak out about what you saw -- it's just a model. Not the real plastic, etc.

    May 7, 2006
    by AllenD (not verified)

    Where are the Professional Inventors......

    Dear Doug,

    Seems like most of the inventors on this program are newbiesto inventing.

    Does professional inventors/Product developers need a show
    like this or do they already have all the contacts and access to money to get a product to market like you.



    May 7, 2006
    by Doug Hall

    My Three

    Yes I picked my three. In truth - the technical issues with Janusz required me to be the one to work with him. And, Flush Pure and Restroom Door Clip -- were not liked by any of the other judges. I had to fight to get them even into the top 12.

    My key criteria was -- that they all SOLVED PROBLEMS. Clear and specific problems. The most basic definition of an invention in my book

    May 7, 2006
    by Anonymous (not verified)

    Hello Doug I was in L.A with

    Hello Doug I was in L.A with my mailbox post it's on page 5 when I was being judged you had to leave to catch a flight. Do you think you could tell me what you think of it. I think you are the only one that I trust on the show. And you wasn't there. Thanks Jay

    May 7, 2006
    by Doug Hall

    Where are the pros

    I agree -- we need more Professionals.

    I'm working on it. And, I'm hopeful that as the show evolves -- remember it's a first generation prototype - it will bring in more BIG GUNS

    May 7, 2006
    by Anonymous (not verified)

    Door Clip

    Thank you for the update, Sharon! I'm looking forward to seeing what you have!

    RE: Email for ABC. I'll email them, too. Their music choices are getting ridiculous.

    May 7, 2006
    by Anonymous (not verified)

    Invention informstion

    Hi Doug,

    Can u tell me if u know anything abt the inventor and invention before the audition?
    Do the producers share any information to help you decided if you would like the inventor
    to move forward to the next round before the inventor auditions in front of the 4 judges?

    May 7, 2006
    by Doug Hall


    Sorry for having to leave. I never did see the product. The schedule went long -- long -- long as you know. If you go to my site and sign up for Friday Feebies -- we can have a more detailed conversation

    May 7, 2006
    by Elijah

    Doug as a judge


    As a judge I have a serious problem with your bias; you are obviously trying to influence the show’s outcome. Each final four contestant should have a fair chance at winning. Consider keeping your comments to yourself until a winner is selected. As for the car seat; correct me if I am wrong, the winning product has to be ready to sell in stores within a few months? If this is the case how can you support an unfinished product? Is it because you do not want WordAce to win? I have noticed you have been so negative towards the contestant (Ed Hall) you can’t appreciate the game invention (WordAce); and yet underpin paper as disposable bedding.

    So, if the car seat wins and the one million dollars is awarded (the advancement on royalties) how soon will the producers get their money back, as the car seat requires (in the words of the inventor himself) the car manufacturers to make room for the car seat. First, let us require the car manufactures address these high gas prices then we can address making room for a car seat. Doug you are unbelievable and your biasness is so obvious; try harder to hide it. By the way, I am voting for the contestant who invented WordAce;

    May 7, 2006
    by Doug Hall


    We get very little information. Basically the name of the person and the name of the invention. So we can look down and refer to them by name -- when our minds are mind numb after 10 days -- 12 hours a day.

    That's part of what makes it so much harder than I thought it would be -- to be a judge

    May 7, 2006
    by Inbrellachick

    sheryl says "cheers" doug...

    thanks for coming to the resuce of the inventors and authenticity of possibile production-ready prototypes... it's probably hard to understand the reality that some of the prototypes were NOT production-ready and are still "in process"...