Inventor of the Week Archive
for a different Invention or Inventor
Zachary Anglin is a budding Hamilton, Texas inventor who has created
a variety of innovative devices such as the Pager
Pillow, the FlipperLight,
and the Anglin Magnet Detectorall
before entering middle school.
Encouraged by his mother, Robin, and entrepreneurial father, Larry, who owns
a computer company in central Texas, young
Anglin says he has always been interested in inventing. He loves to come up
with solutions to problems that people are having around him, and clearly he
has a knack for thinking creatively.
His first invention was the E-Z bottle, a disposable baby bottle liner with
a pre-measured amount of formula already inside. According to Anglin, when his
cousin Emily was an infant, he watched his aunt Carol scooping and measuring
the baby formula each time she made a bottle. "I thought to myself that
if there could be a better way to do this, it would be much easier on Aunt Carol,"
he said. "Thus, I came up with disposable packets of formula already inside
For the Pager Pillow, Anglin
took a similar problem-solving approach. "My mom often was woken up in
the middle of the night by my dad's pager," he said. "One day she said
that she just couldn't stand it. This gave me a great idea." He came up with
an initial concept in his head, for a pillow that had a place inside where a
person's pager could fit and function while its owner was sleeping on it. That
way, when it went off, the person lying on the pillow would hear it, but others
in the household would not.
First, Anglin bought a comfortable foam pillow. Next, he got his mother to
cut a deep crevice in the side of the pillow. Then, Anglin bought satin fabric
and sewed it into a pillow case with the help of his grandmother. A friend of
his mother's embroidered the pillow, and the prototype was complete.
Anglin took his invention a giant step further, however. He wanted people
to know about his product, so he began his own marketing campaign. :"I
built a Web page with the help of my dad," said Anglin. "I made two [product]
surveys, one for the Internet and one to ask people personally. Finally, I went
to the [local] Invention Convention and made my presentation."
Anglin, who has participated in both local Invention Convention events as
well as Invent America, continues to seek improvements to his pager pillow design
while he comes up with solutions to other problems. Meanwhile he's also working
on a number of other activities, including tae kwon do, rocket-building, chess
and computer games, and school, of course. "My favorite school subjects are
math and reading, because I enjoy them and I am good at them," he said. His
advice to others? "Work hard, document everything, and NEVER give up," he said.
While Anglin still has a few years to go before he's through with school and
college, he's already got some ideas about what he'd like to do in terms of
his career. "I'd like to be a marine biologist," he said. "The ocean has always
fascinated me, and I could invent some wonderful underwater cameras and speakers."