The Next Killer Product

Ok, someone needs to do this….

We’ve all seen the commercial, or read the blog article, by now… you know, the one where somebody attaches a camera to a weather balloon and sends it up into space. Pretty cool!

Until they have to chase it down and find it.

Well, that whole contraption needs to be made into a product, improved, and sell for under $500. Up to the challenge? Here’s the specs…


  • 8MP camera
  • HD Video
  • Altimeter
  • GPS
  • Wifi
  • Micro SD Memory Card (to record pics/video/flight data)
  • 3G or even old GSM chip
  • Achieve a height of 80,000 – 100,000 feet
  • Take video the entire flight
  • Take a 8MP picture every 10 seconds
  • Owner registers it on a website upon purchase for tracking
  • Work a deal with Mobile ISPs to use their towers just to send a small bit of data periodically (the product ID and coordinates) to the webserver. Could also look for open WiFi connections). Follow how Besos managed free data connections with the first Kindle.
  • User tracks it on the website.
  • Upon recovery, users uploads data from Micro-SD to website, and offloads pictures.
  • Website displays flight data graphically, and compares it to others.
  • Is as simple to unpack and use as buying a remote control car from Radio Shack.

How you make money:

If you’re thinking that the equipment alone would be break-even at $500, you’re probably right. So how do you make money, and how do you pay ISPs for that tiny bit of traffic per product?

The website.

See, it’s optional. The SD Card has the pictures, so at a bar minimum the purchaser gets that gratification. If they can find their product when it lands.

They have to pay for the GPS tracking, and for you to disseminate the flight data, using the website, per flight.

See… it’s reusable.

$500 out the door. $19.99 per flight to use the website. You’ll sell millions.

I’ll buy one.


Then you’ll take your millions, pay your taxes and yourself, then use the remainder to figure out how to make one that:

  • Sends real-time video to a receiver on the ground, that also acts as a…
  • Flight controller so that when the camera doo-hickey,
  • Which now has wings,
  • Breaks away from the balloon with a signal from the receiver…
  • The user can navigate it to the ground using the video.
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