Everyone has heard of the useless wireless duck – unless you’re new to the internet, in which case, here you go. The team at MAKO were introduced to it just a few days after its release on YouTube and it stirred up quite a laugh at the office! Micheal Nichols’ arduino-powered squeaking duck has since taken the internet by storm, hitting over 1,000,000 views in less than a week. Primarily uploaded for his colleagues, Mike was taken by surprise when his creation went viral and brought in thousands of comments, congratulating him on creating his extremely useless, yet amusing invention. Many of the viewers were what seemed to be “Reddit trolls” – self-proclaimed overweight nerds with neck beards who wear fedoras and, when they see an attractive woman, tip their fedoras and call out ‘m’lady’ in hopes of coming off as classy.
Nichols was quick to respond to these fedora-wearing viewers with his next unique invention, the useless wireless hat, which is essentially a fedora that tips to one side and says ‘m’lady’ with the click of a button. Useless or ingenious?
“I think what made this invention so popular was how complicated the electronics looked but in the end, they were used to perform such a silly and useless task,” Nichols said. Being a software developer, he has a knack for inventing things and likes to play around with electronics in his spare time. “Arduinos are actually pretty easy to work with,” Mike explains. “They’re fun because you can write codes to make things physically move and perform certain functions.”
How does Nichols envision the future of his invention?
The tipping hat uses the same mechanism as the duck, with an additional speaker feature that actually calls out ‘m’lady’ every time someone clicks the remote that controls it. “The speaker is very similar to the ones you find in those fancy greeting cards,” explains Nichols. “It’s just a silly toy that caters to the internet nerd culture, and one that I’m hoping people can have fun experimenting with.” With MAKO’s help, Michael has now patented his invention and is looking to manufacture the useless wireless hat. He wishes to see the hat inspire people to make something of their own. “I want to see people take the hat apart and use it’s mechanics to make something of their own, maybe like a mechanical hand that shows the middle finger to people with the click of a button.” Nichols is very passionate about his creations and hopes that people can get creative and use the mechanics behind his device in many innovative ways.
Nichols is going to be featured as part of an inventions special on the Discovery Channel in December. “It’s all very exciting,” he tells us. “The Discovery Channel want me to create a new invention for the feature, so you’re going to have to tune in to find out what it is!” Looking at his past two quirky inventions, we are extremely excited to see what Michael comes up with next. And, in the typical Reddit fashion, we tip our fedoras at your tinkering achievement Mike!
About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!