Innovative sign for the future
DAVID Ranger is a carpet cleaner by day, and a serial innovator by night.
Among his many inventions is the Wayo Board, a portable point-of-sale advertising display board that is web-enabled. It has just received a $55,000 skills and knowledge grant from the federal government's Commercialisation Australia department.
It was also short-listed in the same Big Idea state government funding competition as Ross Mason (see main story).
"It uses technology, electronics and programming that is cutting edge," he said.
"A lot of it we are making up as we go because it is a world first.
"We are at the very early stages now, and we have a long way to go, but hopefully we'll have it at market in mid-2013."
Mr Ranger's daughter came up with the product idea two years ago.
She happened to mention that she never took any notice of the traditional painted or chalkboard A-frame signs used by businesses for street advertising.
The Wayo Board has almost unlimited application potential, including shop window display and A-frame street signage as well as digital displays of a home's features for real estate agents.
It has attracted interest from national real estate, hospitality and motoring companies.
A 153-page patent has been taken out and published worldwide and a search for an angel investor is on.
Mr Ranger has made a working prototype and a secondary version is now almost complete.
The Commercialisation Australia money will fund a business plan, with a further two rounds offering $250,000 and another $1.2million open to applications.
Mr Ranger said bringing a new idea to market was definitely a marathon not a sprint.
"It's a very long process. The patent was crucial, it takes a lot of time and money," he said.
"But I want to keep it on the Coast and certainly in Queensland. My real ambition is to create a lot of jobs."
Mr Ranger has a history of inventing things.
He was beaten by just 12 weeks to the patent on an iPod download vending machine (his competitor was later quashed by Apple) and has also set up a wifi network for grey nomads.
"I see stuff and look at it differently I guess."