Want to control your Wii using just your mind? In the market for a robot that can help you communicate from home? Need your Prius to get 100 miles per gallon? This year's Stanford Cool Product Expo, co-sponsored by the GSB, the Stanford Product Design & Manufacturing Club, and the Product Realization Network at Stanford, featured all this and more.
The mission of the Cool Product Expo is to generate interest in and excitement around "cool" products and companies in the field of manufacturing and design at Stanford and the community at large. This year's participants included start-ups, university research lab projects, and global manufacturers, all exhibiting products that aren't yet on the market. Many products focused on green technology---like Visible Energy's UFO, which allows consumers to "see" how much energy they're using and then helps reduce that amount.
Other products ranged from handy, to life-saving. D.light Design, co-founded by Sam Goldman, MBA 2007, and Ned Tozun, MBA 2007, exhibited the Nova lamp, designed to replace dangerous kerosene lamps with a clean, safe, and affordable lighting option for families living without electricity. Jane Chen, MBA 2008, one of the co-founders of Embrace (see "Incubator" entry below), was at the Expo displaying a low-cost, portable infant incubator. Many of the exhibitors are hoping to bring their products to market soon. Chen, for example, is in the final stages of development and funding for the incubator, and says, "Our goal is to get this global within the next five years."