Thursday, December 13, 2007

Portable Cupholder

I take the commuter rail every day into Boston. It is about 45 minute or so ride. One of the things I noticed today is that about 40% of all the riders have some type of beverage with them. Some of them are in some sort of reusable Thermos, but most are Styrofoam/paper cups from Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks. The Thermos owners can just close their cups, and then it doesn't matter if it tips over, but what of the coffee-house patrons? It is interesting to watch them try to unfold the Globe or Wall Street Journal while they balance their cup between their legs, between a leg and an armrest/wall, or on top of a bag (it seems almost everyone on commuter rail trains carries a bag of some sort). This is definitely a problem that people have become accustomed to dealing with, but I believe that it can be solved by design.

I imagine a mechanism, something small enough to be able to fit in your pocket, or the smallest pouch on your backpack/satchel/laptop bag. This mechanism would somehow adhere (suction cups?) to a surface. A pulling motion away from the adhered surface could then secure the adhesive seal while opening up a cupholder.

My mechanism might be (probably is) flawed, but I do believe that there is a need for this problem to be solved. Thoughts…?

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