Over the past 14 years, Trident Design has become a hub of innovation under the leadership of Chris Hawker, as featured within the cover story on page XX. The company develops its own creations and designs, often leaning toward the simple but pragmatic reimagining of existing consumer products, as well as helping corporations and entrepreneurs refine and commercialize their own inventions. Below, (614) showcases four of Trident’s most popular quirky gadgets.
The invention that put Trident on the map – it’s like if Mother Nature spawned the surge protector/power strip. The sea-creature design allows for greater flexibility and sidesteps the problem of having bulky plugs covering multiple outlets. Since its birth in 2005, the PowerSquid has been licensed to several different brand manufacturers and sold in many major retailers. Its continued success is a testament to the value of ingenuity and clever, clean design.
As much a pop-culture phenomenon as a product, Onion Goggles have been featured on a host of TV shows, including Modern Family, in which Phil Dunphy described them to his father-in-law Jay Pritchett: “Onion Goggles – no more tears when I cook. Welcome to the 21st century. You should get a pair.” The specialty eyewear is an example of Trident’s work with an outside firm, RSVP International kitchen products, to design someone else’s concept and bring it to consumers. The glasses feature anti-fog coating and a foam seal to prevent onion-related tears, or in the case of Jay Pritchett, to prevent your son-in-law from seeing you cry about something else entirely. “It’s the onions dammit!”
Anyone who has attempted to keep potted plants alive knows the difference between underwatered and overwatered is often a fine line to walk that can leave home gardens wilted or worse. Trident’s Thirsty Light removes uncertainty and reliance on generic advice by alerting growers when the plant needs hydrating. The thermometer-like device also increases the speed of the alert as the need becomes more critical.
Trident’s newest offering, still in the final stages of prototyping and development, the Quickey – “the clever key that opens everything but doors.” One of Hawker’s own designs, the key-shaped multi-tool has a variety of contoured and sharpened (but safe) edges that make it ideal for use as a box cutter, screwdriver, pill splitter, coupon clipper, and bottle opener while lacking the bulk and weight of a traditional all-in-one gizmo. Hawker chose the Quickey for Trident’s first foray into crowdfunding as a method for financing and distribution, and the subsequent Indiegogo campaign raised $221,619 of a $4,000 goal.