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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 Amarsir

The Word Ace

I know it was Peter's choice (and I won't ask you to second-guess him), but I agree that looked awfully expensive. Will we know information like that for voting next week?

(BTW Sharon, I've heard sooo many people say they would buy your clip so I hope it gets to market soon.)

May 7, 2006
by Doug Hall

Doug As a judge

I respect your perspective.

However -- to be clear I am no longer a judge.

America now becomes the judge.

It's my job however to mentor, cheerlead and encourage. Just as it's the other judges jobs to do the same

That's the way the "game" works

May 7, 2006
by Erik Thompson
Erik Thompson's picture

hey sharon how are you it's

hey sharon how are you it's erik

May 7, 2006
by Sharon Clemens

To market

BTW Sharon, I've heard sooo many people say they would buy your clip so I hope it gets to market soon

Thanks, Amarsir...I hope to get it to market as soon as possible.

May 7, 2006
by Paul Berman, T2 Design President (not verified)

Next season suggestion

I think it might be valuable for the design teams to have some input regrding the show format if there is a second season. My company worked on the show and would like to offer some input if possible. Would you like to arrange a meeting with the design teams?

May 7, 2006
by Doug Hall

Sheryl -- the funky Umbrella Lady

I love your product -- and I fully understand the challenges of prototypes.

However you need to understand that each judge is choosen to represent a different point of view.

I disagree a lot with the others. And - they disagree with me. That's the whole idea. For the four judges to debate and discuss -- and create entertainment in the process

May 7, 2006
by Amarsir

Of the other 9 (or more)

Doug you've been great toward your 3 and they all seem like really worthy inventors to me too. Any of the other contestants you would have personally have liked to work with?

May 7, 2006
by Sharon Clemens

hey sharon how are you it's

hey sharon how are you it's erik

Hi Erik! Thanks so much for being my personal trainer during our stay.

May 7, 2006
by Doug Hall

Next Season

I'd love to have everyone get together to talk about how to make the show better.

I also want to thank you folks for doing all that you've done. In an impossible situation you've all done great.

My hat's off to all of the design teams.

May 7, 2006
by Amarsir

If Joe & Jenny are around

If Joe & Jenny are around (and to Doug if they're not), the photos were impressive. But due to never actually hearing the original pitch I'm still confused by the product. Wouldn't air pass between the seat and the rim w/o going anywhere near the lid? Or is there a different design or some airflow principle I don't see?

May 7, 2006
by Doug Hall

Of the other 9

If I was making a list -- the Umbrella would be #4

May 7, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

I pretty much can echo what

I pretty much can echo what Amarsir said about a lot of folks (mostly women, I'll admit) wanting to buy your clip. My mother wondered why she didn't think of it years ago when I was a kid!

May 7, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Do u think if an inventor

Do u think if an inventor has won a huge invention contest and has been named as one of the best inventions
of the year by TIME magazine it would make a difference in the judges decisions? B/c i auditioned and
did not make it to the next round and I always wonder if i would have mentioned my award and Time
magazine if it would have made a difference?

May 7, 2006
by Doug Hall

Joe and Jenny

The seat has a vent in the back -- the sides are sealed -- to break the vacumn -- it goes out the back through the filter.

I was against any design work -- I thought the product was fine -- that we simply needed credibility.

However I was wrong -- the new design is much better than the old one

May 7, 2006
by Pureflush


The entire seat is sealed. The natural "force of the Flush" is directly straight up. We've designed the filter to be in the direct path of the flush. In the bottom and out through the back.

May 7, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)


I LOVE THE INBRELLA too!!!! That's one of my favorite.

May 7, 2006
by Marcus (not verified)


For those of you inventors that made the later rounds,
were there any other inventions that you were worried
about competing against that didn't make the top 12?

May 7, 2006
by Sharon Clemens

Kids and locked doors

My mother wondered why she didn't think of it years ago when I was a kid!

That was part of the concept - that parents can use it without their kids locking the door from inside and locking themselves in.

Also - I have always appreciated inventions I wish I would have thought of myself. Thanks for your support!

May 7, 2006
by Doug Hall


YES -- anything that builds your credibility is HUGE.

It's not boasting when you've really done it.

And we know so little -- anything that gives you credibility helps a ton -- at least it helps me.

May 7, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Season 2 - judges

Do you think all the judges contributed evenly to the show? You don't have to name names. Do you think they should reduce or increase the number of judges for season 2?

May 7, 2006
by Doug Hall

Lost opportunities

There were a number of inventions that did not show up in the final round of 50 because of patent issues, contract issues, etc.

Some of them were wicked cool too.

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


If you guys want input into the show, you're looking at the place to find it. America (or at least the people who visit this site) could certainly give you a few words of advice on format etc.

And of course, this isn't discounting any advice T2 could add.

May 7, 2006
by Amarsir

Very Impressive

Excellent info on the Pureflush, thanks!

I don't want to start something, esp with reps from both sides here, but there was definitely a theme of "Inventor vs. Design Firm" these last two episodes. I'm sure the cameras exaggerated it a bit, but any insights behind any of that to be shared?

(That goes to previous episodes too with the Catch Vest, the In-Brella, etc.)

May 7, 2006
by Inbrellachick

i honestly respected and

i honestly respected and appreciated all of the competetive inventions/inventors... i felt the final 12 products were diverse enough that i never felt threatened by the competition... we were all very respectful of eachother and our products... and hello to erik... hope all is well...

May 7, 2006
by Aries

Patent Search

At what point in the show, did ABC start looking to see if there were preexisting patents on similar inventions

May 7, 2006
by Amarsir


(double post)

May 7, 2006
by AllenD (not verified)

INbrella was the best IMO........

If the INbrella had another FOLD to 1/2 of the current
length like smaller umbrellas.

Then the INbrella would be a small inbrella and A BIG HIT!

My unbrella was a wet mess today when getting into my car.



May 7, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

the inbrella

I saw a similar version of the inbrella at www.andywana.com
what do you think of this?

May 7, 2006
by Doug Hall

Season 2 Judges

Things worked out fine with 4 judges. There's been a lot of talk that it should be 3 -- like idol.

I'm actually a suporter of the current line up.

I think it takes a season to "figure it out" -- and I'd like to have the same group for next year -- so that we can develop into an even better team.

Each judge brings something diffent to the group.

If we were to get rid of one -- I'd say it should be Peter -- it makes no sense having a Brit on American Inventor -- besides I think he dresses badly and it's a poor reflection on the show :)

May 7, 2006
by Linda Shayne (not verified)

Final Episodes

Are you and the judges and the show's producers going to reveal during the final two episodes if any manufacturing deals have been made for the final twelve?
I worked with T2 Design (not on the Headliner) but on the Niya Doll's music and electronics. Although people have a difficult time thinking a doll is an invention, I think it is a very commercial product with a positive message. Any updates on licensing deals?
Linda Shayne