In this inventor interview Bryce Taylor tells the story of how he invented and developed the Halo Trainer, a piece of exercise equipment that can fit over a stability exercise ball to create hundreds of exercise options.
Tara: What is your name, invention name and website URL?
Bryce: Bryce Taylor, Halo Trainer, halotrainer.com
Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about where you are based, your background experience how you first started inventing?
Bryce: Practicing physical therapist in Indianapolis, outpatient ortho/sports medicine background, part time athlete, and former personal trainer, always wanted to invent since middle school. I’ve had many ideas along the way such as swiveling car seats to improve transfer into the car for aging adults or disabled. I have never sought funding for intellectual property until this recent project.
Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about your invention, what it is, and how you came up with the idea?
Bryce: I was creating new core stabiization methods with the stability ball and realized that it needed handles to control the ball better. The Halo Trainer is an ergonomic friction-fitting apparatus that fits over a stablity ball to create hundreds of new or modified exercises to help people improve core strength and flexibility.
Tara: What were the first steps you took after having your idea?
Bryce: I couldn’t stop thinking of the idea of handlebars for a stability ball once the idea came to mind. I then took my idea to a local manufacturer to discuss next steps.
Tara: Did you get presentation drawing sheets produced or make a prototype of your invention, how did you go about this?
Bryce: The inital drawings were nothing like the final product. The concept was molded in my mind and finally it required wire to create a 3-D representation of the prototype. The wire was then replicated by bending soft copper tubing in real size. From that copper tubing prototype, a CAD drawing was constructed by a word-of-mouth referral.
Tara: Did you try and patent or protect your idea in any way and how did you go about it?
Bryce: I immediately sought legal council to protect the idea. I hired a local firm and discussed the idea with a patent attorney. Later came trademark protection.
Tara: Did you always intend manufacturing your invention yourself or did you look into licensing the idea?
Bryce: I initially thought licensing the idea would be best for my lifestyle and family but then took it on with the expectation that this can grow slowly with low pressure. That’s not realistic by the way!
Tara: How did you go about finding a suitable manufacturer for your invention and did you self fund this?
Bryce: I had a referral for a manufacturer. Investors were needed for the project to get to market. I found people were asking to invest because they liked the product so much.
Tara: What have you found are the best ways of promoting your invention?
Bryce: I haven’t found the best way yet. It takes a lot of time and money to promote a product. I have built a website that is currently being redeveloped and optimized. I feel that the internet is where many curious onlookers will stumble upon my product but the site just hasn’t been optimal for attracting new clients. I have attended a couple industry tradeshows where the networking has been great but the return on the investment isn’t always quite there. I am considering online sales promotions through social media.
Tara: What were the most difficult elements of bringing your invention to market?
Bryce: Manufacturing mishaps. The product design and development went so smoothly until conversion to mass manufacturing. We had to decline the first imported container because the product was not to the same standards as the previous reviewed samples. It’s all fixed now though.
Tara: How long has it taken from your initial idea to taking it to market?
Bryce: 2.5 years
Tara: Is there anything you learned developing your invention that you would now do differently if you had to do it all again?
Bryce: Absolutely! There are too many to list here. Let’s just say that we grow wiser with years.
Tara: What advice would you give any aspiring inventor with an idea?
Bryce: First consider if there is a true need for the invention in the marketplace, determine the target market, and ask many questions.
Tara: Where can people find out more about you your invention?
Are you an inventor or invention expert with an interesting story or advice to share? Please get in touch via the contact form or email tara (at) ideasuploaded (dot) com