Innovation

Unleash your inner inventor on NASA patents

Marblar Scientist Sketch

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to come up with ideas for products based on NASA patents. But it might help.

Here's your chance to find out: NASA posted 14 of its patents on the crowdsourcing site Marblar so people could submit ways to develop new products.

Marblar is a Kickstarter of sorts for ideas. Anyone can contribute their innovation and expertise "to turn hand-selected patents from world-leading labs into new products through collaborative product development," the site says. If a contributor's concept is picked and survives the rigors of market research and feasibility studies, the contributor could end up earning a 10 percent royalty on the product's proceeds.

NASA plans on posting 26 additional patents over the next four weeks. Those already on Marblar include image stabilization and improvement for low-quality images, high-efficiency radio-frequency heating elements and a label reader for shiny or curved surfaces.

"Crowdsourcing has allowed NASA to tap into more than the usual suspects to get ideas and solutions that address an assortment of NASA needs," said Jenn Gustetic, NASA's prizes and challenges program executive, in a news release. "Reaching out to innovators in a variety of fields through online crowdsourcing may provide a 21st century way for NASA to expand the reach of its technology portfolio for commercialization and use right here on Earth."

About the Author

Reid Davenport is an FCW editorial fellow. Connect with him on Twitter: @ReidDavenport.

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