Benton, KY – One day a week, Brian Doss takes a day off. In many those days off, and in numerous other stolen moments over two and a half years, he worked on an invention that came to him one day on the golf course.
"there's not a lot of room to pack drinks, and you run out you might have to wait an hour for them to get ice cold. Now I put them on the spinner, I go T-off and by the time I get back to the cart, it's cold."
The polar-wave spinner is a device that Doss says can be used to cool many things including drinks, pudding ice cream and canned fruit. The initial idea came from his childhood. In those days, he says it was cheaper to buy drinks warm than cold. To ice them down as quickly as possible, they would cover their cans in ice and spin them until the metal from the can conducted the cold from the ice to their drinks. Doss's invention just speeds the process.
This isn't Doss's first bright idea.
"I've always loved to figure out how things worked. I came up with the credit card gas pump when I was in the 11th grade. So, it's taking, you know nothing earth shattering, but taking existing things and converting them into day to day life and figuring out the way things work that I would want them to work for me."
The idea of new inventions sometimes seems fanciful. One day, an idea might strike and the next day, riches are pouring in. Doss says, that's not the case. It took him two and a half years from start to finish to imagine, create, manufacture and patent the product.
If you had asked Doss two years ago if he would keep inventing, he would have said yes. Now, after and average of 26 to 30 thousand dollars in start up capitol, a handsome chunk to cover manufacturing fees and the bills for his lawyer, he's changed his tone. With all the ideas flying around, Doss says it's helpful to look at the current market.
"The patent search, I did two patent searches, that was probably the best idea that I had. Because it taught me what didn't work."
An unassuming looking device, complete with an attached towel to dry off any moisture, the Polar-wave spinner looks like a power drill. Its black outer casing is punctuated by a red on' switch, notating the timer settings. The black rubber cup on the top is shaped like an inverted pyramid to grip any size can. Although Doss jokes if cans get any bigger, he'll have to make a new model. The only thing the consumer must provide is the can and a container for the ice.
Now, for a demonstration. After loading his stainless steal "cool cup" with two scoops of ice cream mix and a half cup of milk, Doss screws on the lid.
"Just like when you're making ice cream in a regular ice cream maker you put salt on the ice. So you just pour a little salt on, you put it at a 45 degree angle, just kind of lay it on top of the ice. And it doesn't have to be buried or anything like that. You turn the spinner on the second setting, that's five minutes."
While the ice cream spins in Doss's own travel-coolers, he takes his second Polar-wave spinner and puts it on a can of Diet Coke. The two spinners noisily carried on, with contents cooling by the second.
Now, five minutes later Doss shows off his product. He scoops the vanilla ice cream from the sides of the cup and asks if I like vanilla. No doubt about it.
I'm not the only one that likes vanilla. Doss's son and daughter enjoy his homemade ice cream. His son, who prefers chocolate, has personal stake in the product.
"My little boy actually named it. When I was working with it, just to see if it would work, I actually took his monster truck and I laid the can on the ice, and ran the monster truck on top of it. That's how I figured out that it would work."
The spinning stopped and it was time for tasting.
"Mm, I don't think I've had fresher ice cream than that."
"When you get done it's all yours, you can have it."
While I wash down the ice cream with a crisp and freshly cooled Diet Coke right off the spinner Doss tells me about his marketing efforts. Right now, the polar-waver spinner is available on his web site and in a few select stores. Though Wal-mart just picked up a competitor, Doss is confident his toil wasn't for nothing.