Another Business Idea I'm Not Going to Develop

Monday, January 4, 2010 , Posted by Johnny Fuery at 1:38 AM

Originally Published 2008-01-15 21:53:05

If you build this, tap me to help with the software. :-)

A small (handheld or slightly larget) device that can tell where metal is in the walls of your home. It's tuned to ignore [most] nails and other metal fastening devices, like picture hangers and staples. You walk around your home following some basic directions presented on an LCD screen. The device is emitting some low-level radiation that allows it to pick up conducitive materials with reasonable accuracy. It then assembles a schematic for the wiring in your house. This would be plugged in to your PC or network (via USB or ethernet) and upload the raw data to a web-based service that crunches the numbers and assembles pretty graphics.

$400-$600 retail. Sold at Lowe's, Home Depot, and Sears.

Troubleshooting electrical problems in your house would be a cinch. You'd be more willing to cut into your walls to add desired items, too, because you could go into the job with a keen awareness of just how big a mess you're going to make.

There's also the commercial angle (probably where something like this would start). Sell the unit to electricians only at a higher price and let them offer web-based schematics to all their clients for free. The web site and software would be paid for via the add-on services and monetization methods (below).

Specific recommendations could be provided once data is gathered. This could be with an eye towards environmental ends (replacing something could save XX tons of carbon, for instance), financial savings (e.g., save $300 on energy this year by spending $250 now), or even simply safety (because plugging in 17 appliances and a hairdryer on your tired, old wiring could start a fire).

There's certainly an angle where the uploaded data gets sold to local vendors (privacy and permission rights would have to be observed, of course). I'm certain there's a long list of electricians that would like to get a list of 20 leads monthly that have knob-and-tube electrical wiring or are still running with old-school fuses. The list of homeowners generated, too, would be extremely valuable as a marketing tool, even without the schematic details. (Homeowners who dabble in home improvement and have disposable income... yum! Not to mention the fact that we can make certain conclusions about their net worth based on their physical address.)

Cool Geek Factor:

  • Mash up the data with Google Maps/Earth.

  • Scanning for metal through sheetrock while ignoring other materials and packing it into a consumer device is a non-trivial engineering problem.

  • Hello? Adobe Flex based graphs of your home's wiring? Yeah!


On 2008-01-16 22:15:58 Pages tagged "entrepreneurship" said:
[...] influencing the decisions of record companies, directors, and TV networks. Join Hey Nielsen! Another Business Idea IĆ¢€™m Not Going to Develop saved by 6 others     michelle425 bookmarked on 01/16/08 | [...]

On 2008-01-17 17:57:30 My Printed Circuit Boards said:
Yeah, I need something like this cause at my new house I have a switch that doesn't turn anything on. I'd love to know where that switch goes cause its the on right at the entry.

BTW, if anyone builds it, tap me to help with the circuit board design. LOL

On 2008-01-23 11:49:42 Bass Lake Real Estate said:
Personally I am still trying to find a stud finder that accuratly finds the stud so I can hang pictures! Heehee

On 2008-01-25 09:38:29 Honeymoon packages said:
Yes great for hanging up pictures so you don't by mistake put a nail through a cable. $300 or 400 does seem expensive...

On 2008-01-27 01:49:59 Online Bingo said:
that's quite expensive for a device like that right?

but i think it's pretty handy to own one since you'll definitely need one to determine metal

On 2008-03-23 22:52:56 Ghillie Suits said:
Can't we just stick a sonagram up against the wall?

On 2009-01-29 18:29:40 Pinnacle said:
"Low-level radiation"? Pretty sure anything emitting any level of radiation is pretty well regulated. Good concept tho!

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