Food and Beverage

Bong Along funnels party imbibing into a collapsible Frisbee of a drinking aid

Bong Along  c3703da5cdc1bcbc0d5590195ef40476_large[1]What’s a college party in a frat house without a beer bong? And leave it to the party crowd to find a way to make it, um, more effective – hence—Bong Along. Armed with the slightly off-balance argument that your standard beer bong ought to be collapsible, dishwasher-ready and more easily storable (perhaps so it can be better hidden from those in authority) a mind-boggling six years went into “improving” on a college tradition of quaffing and staggering to create a product with those exact additions, plus better control of beer flow. For $30 backers get a complete product with an expected delivery of June 2014. What a unique gift this would make.

Food and Beverage Health and Wellness

Drink E-Z helps patients, sucks lazy into sedentary Wall-E future

The Premise. Whether it’s as a result of oral surgery, injury or old age, many people have trouble making use of the common straw as a beverage delivery system. Also, some people are thirsty and want to exert as little effort as possible to fix that problem.

The Product. Drink E-Z reinvents something as simple as the drinking straw in a way to make the process easier for those who need help drinking or need to avoid creating suction in the mouth. Made up of four interlocking parts and operated by three AA batteries, the Drink E-Z looks like your standard to-go cup aside from the tantalizing red button at the cup’s base. This button activates a food-grade micro pump that propels your drink up through the straw and brings it right to your lips. The whole thing tears down just as easily for cleaning and works with all but the thickest of drinks. (We’re looking at you, Shamrock Shake.)

The Pitch. Inventor Damjan Madjar introduces the Drink E-Z and its uses, how it improves the lives of the infirm, and explains the simple but effective design. A second video, featuring a dentist, gives an endorsement for the Drink E-Z and how it can help reduce infections in post-operative patients. The campaign is looking for $65,000 to finalize the design and make the injection molds. Looking past the campaign, the team already has a placeholder domain registered and a Facebook group for fans to get updates.

The Perks. $35 will get you your very own Drink E-Z (batteries included) when it launches in June 2014. Higher-tier perks increase the quantity of cups for each order. By simple multiplication, the $350 tier is worth 10 Drink E-Z cups. However, this tier also gives backers the chance to brand the cups with a company logo. La-Z-Boy might be a good one. The highest $850 tier gives retailers a pack of 50 to sell on their store shelves.

The Potential. The market for a self-sucking straw seems fairly specialized among those who truly need it and the inspiringly lazy. It’s not outside the realm of possibility to expect dentists and oral surgeons to recommend these to patients and they could very well be found in your local pharmacy after launch. This does appear to be a truly unique idea, but despite what the campaign and its videos suggest, it seems a little far-fetched to expect to see someone lounging on the beach enjoying a drink at the press of a button when the straw is already in their mouth.