Virginia’s dad invents a spit-free way to blow out candles, which filters dirty air with a propeller
Mark Apelt, 44, spent part of his quarantine inventing a new invention to eliminate spit when blowing out birthday candles
A father shocked by the sight of a child’s saliva flying over the icing of a birthday cake has invented a new gadget that allows users to blow out candles without spraying saliva over the dessert.
Mark Apelt, 44, a Richmond native and a graduate of the University of Virginia, came up with the idea for the tool – which he dubbed the Blowzee – before COVID-19, but spent quarantine developing it.
The Blowzee sees users blowing into a hole with a sensor, which on the other side activates a propeller to blow out candles. That sensor picks up when air is blown in, but none of that actual air comes out the other side.
Instead, it is circulated back to the blower, giving them the satisfaction of putting out candles, without contaminating the cake itself.
Apelt explained his inspiration, saying, ‘We were at a kids birthday party with some friends and the sun was coming through the window at just the right angle so you could see all the droplets flying through the sky and the whole cake. “The kid blew out the candles,” said Apelt The daily progress about the inspiration of the invention.
After the birthday party, Apelt gathered with some friends and joked about the need for a plumbing appliance, which was not actually available in the market.
“We were all at the party and we talked about what it’s like when kids blow out the candles because we all saw the spit fly,” said Apelt.
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The Blowzee can be used to extinguish candle flames without creating saliva everywhere
The product was invented by Mark Apelt, who had time to focus on the idea during COVID-19
Apelt and his friends noted that the gross practice of spitting on food applies to only one delicacy.
‘We talked about not doing that with food other than birthday cake. I mean, you don’t do it with burgers. Nobody cooks a burger, blows it, and says, “Here’s your burger.”
“Okay, you’re blowing soup, but you’re blowing your own soup,” Apelt added.
Once the world came to a standstill because of COVID-19, Apelt suddenly had time to pursue the idea. He realized that a new hygiene-obsessed world would also be much more interested in a product that could stop the spread of germs.
A user can blow into the Blowzee, which filters clean air to its final destination
Meanwhile, it filters the dirty air that is blown back to the person by the user
“Once the pandemic hit, we had a lot of time to think about it and a reason to work on the idea,” Apelt said.
The invention is relatively simple. A user blows into the handheld device, which is almost shaped like a kazoo.
At the end of the Blowzee is a small propeller that runs on batteries and is activated thanks to a sensor that knows when air is being blown in. That propeller, for example, helps filter clear air to the burning birthday candle.
‘There is a small electrical sensor in it, so when you blow in it, you activate the sensor and it turns on the fan and that provides enough clean air to blow out the candle,’ says Apelt.
Meanwhile, the dirty air is returned to the person blowing.
The blown air never gets close to the cake, but the propeller has enough power to blow out the candle. Fixed problem, ”Apelt added.
Apelt went through several ideas before landing on the Blowzee, including a filtered mask, a carbon dioxide cartridge, and something resembling a vuvuzela.
The Blowzee website states that it took ’17 prototypes and over 40 cakes’ to land on the product.
One of the ideas involved noise makers, who were eventually pushed aside.
“ As we got closer to the Blowzee concept we thought of putting a few noisemakers in there to keep the kids entertained, but it’s annoying enough for a parent after about 20 minutes listening to them blow on those things without noisemakers to add, ”said Apelt.
The Blowzee filters out the dirty air with a propeller, which blows the clean air out
Once Apelt followed the Blowzee design, he posted it on Upworks, a network of freelancers.
A retired Michigan electrical engineer picked up the design and turned it into a workable plan.
Apelt then had to go abroad to find production for his invention.
“We found a manufacturer in China, the only place that had the sensor we needed, and they agreed to make it for us,” said Apelt.
Apelt sells its product for $ 9.99
He also conducted an experiment with his son and a petri dish to see if the invention actually filtered out dirty air, which turned out to be successful.
Still, Apelt had to bring his invention to the masses to see if it would be a hit, bringing it to some birthday parties.
“We didn’t know what they would think, but we tried it at a party with some kids and they loved it,” said Apelt.
‘It’s more like a toy to them. We thought we’d sell one to someone throwing a party, but it turns out they buy multiples and put them in those gift bags they give to everyone attending the party. ‘
The Blowzee is available for purchase online for $ 9.99, pre-shipping and handling, free with the purchase of three or more devices.
It can also be found at a number of bakeries in the Richmond area.
The lithium battery needed to run the Blowzee is included with the purchase. It is not dishwasher safe and cannot be returned for hygiene reasons.
Apelt did not specify what the sales were like for the Blowzee, but suggested that the fun creating the product was worth it anyway.
‘It was fun. It was great to see it out there, but a lot of it was the joy of just connecting around the world and people offering to check things out, ”Apelt said.
The benefits of using such a device are also clear, according to the science behind it.
A 2017 study in the Journal of Food Research reveals a 1400 percent increase in bacteria on icing on birthday cakes that gets bloated versus icing that isn’t.