Hi guys…I was SO excited about this that I couldn’t wait for tomorrow’s meeting to share it. I recently found this website that advertises something called HeatTrak. It’s a huge business, and it’s also attracting a lot of attention. This is the summary that they use on the website: “As the world’s only manufacturer of portable outdoor snow-melting mats, HeatTrak’s products are an efficient and convenient way to prevent snow and ice accumulation around the home or facility. To help reduce slip-and-fall accidents in the winter, try a HeatTrak® and save your back.” Of course, this paragraph is exaggerated, because it obviously isn’t the world’s only manufacturer, but it still seems like something that could help. I looked at the pricing, and the pricing for a walkway mat is $130! I would definitely not pay that much money for HeatTrak. We can do much better than that. (The website is www.heattrak.com if you want to go and see for yourself.) But the thing is, if we use this idea, then would it really be ours? There are also so many other companies that have the same idea as HeatTrak, such as one called Masterheat. This one installs it underneath your floor, but although they don’t show the pricing, it can’t be cheap. So what we’re looking for is a super-cheap, appealing, and useful device that we can have. I know we discussed that if we make those winter boots, we could make something similar to the handwarmers that can be stuck to the bottom to melt the snow. We have to find a way to clean that water, because on a driveway, if there’s a lot of snow, and it all turns into water, chances are that it’s all going to spill into the road. Also, if there is a lot of water on the surface, then there is a safety hazard involved because there’s a good chance of slipping. These are all issues that must be addressed, and I was wondering if you guys could come up with any tweaks to my idea…Furthermore, we started off with the idea of a “carpet” of heating pads. Theoretically, it seems like it will work, but we need to consider all the variables. What if the carpet isn’t big enough, and you have to constantly go outside and put it in a different area? It can be really inconvenient to have to continuously put your snowboots on and go outside, but you also can’t make a huge carpet of heating pads that cover the entire driveway either. What if someone steps on the heating pad by accident when it is hot? Will it “explode” if the heat and the pressure react? The chemicals in the liquid would be everywhere, and I’m not sure how that will work out. If you put it on a flight of stairs, would it be flexible enough to cover all the areas and melt all the snow? It could be stiff and not melt the part that the heating pad didn’t touch…It still needs a lot of work, and I would really appreciate it if everyone could give it some pointers. I know that we have to conclude our idea by this meeting, and I completely understand that we will most likely not use these ideas, but I think it’s a good place to start off with and we could get a lot of inspiration from this. See you all at our next meeting!