A seemingly simple innovation to the aluminum can is causing waves not only for its improved functionality but for what its inventor intends to do with the proceeds from his invention.
In a surreal eureka moment of inspiration almost two years ago, first-time Canadian inventor Steve Archambault, wondered whether it would be possible to design a new and improved tab for the aluminum can that could be pivoted to cover the hole when not in use. The former tree planter and landscape gardener was tired of insects creeping into his suds and so with a vision in mind of the final prototype, Archambault set about from scratch learning the esoteric arts of product design and patent registration.
After working through the details of the design, it turned out that the so-called 'smart tab' would not only be capable of effectively covering the hole, but it would also be much easier to open for those who persistently found it difficult to do so. As noted on his website, “This simple change will make beverage cans easier to open, prevent debris as well as insects from getting into the can, prevent kids from cutting their fingers on the sharp edged mouth of the can, reduce the amount of spillage, and remind everyone to be environmentally conscious.”
If you think that such advantages to the can are pretty mundane, consider how far we've come from the days when we had to punch two holes into the lid or when we had to peel back a strip of aluminum with the aid of a very flimsy ring tab. If you are of a certain age, you will likely remember sliced fingers and bits of aluminum floating around at the bottom of the can. Even the current tab has its flaws. Who hasn't grown frustrated when the tab suddenly snaps on the can and you are left to think of ingenious ways to gain access to your beverage of choice? Innovations, therefore, to the devices that help us open the can are not unheard of and do happen from time to time as soft drink companies and can manufacturers attempt to provide enhanced convenience in use of their products.
Very early on in the design process, Archambault realized how potentially lucrative his invention would be if it is taken into account how many beverages are purchased worldwide on a daily basis. This realization, fueled by famed motivational thinkers and coupled with a growing spiritual awareness of humanity's role as stewards on this planet, led him to ponder whether the substantial royalties from his invention could be directed toward doing good in the world, a whole lot of good. “At first,” Archambault recalls, “I thought about how rich I was going to be and I wanted some pretty crazy things. However, with all the madness going on in the world, I realized I didn’t want to end up like most billionaires...greedy!! Instead, I wanted to give back and make a difference, to create a legacy!”
In response to this call, Archambault has founded the Uniting the World Foundation. Still in an embryonic stage, the philanthropic Foundation will serve as a kind of 'clearing house', releasing much-needed funds to develop and maintain worthwhile projects and organizations around the world, and stepping in where governments and corporations have dithered. According to Archambault: “We’re going to set up a charitable organization – Uniting the World Foundation – soon after we launch our company. This Foundation will collaborate with well-established charities and not-for-profits that can demonstrate a solid track record in dealing with major environmental, social, technical, and economic crises in the world."
The ironic twist to all of this, in a sense, is that consumers of canned products worldwide will soon be contributing to these monumental efforts and will not be asked to do anything more than what they are already doing.
Virtually a slam dunk deal, Archambault is on the brink of signing licensing agreements with the soft drink companies and can manufacturers. Following the handshakes, Archambault intends to be off and running with the Foundation. He already has an eager board of directors in place and the vision is quickly formulating as the excitement and buzz around the invention continue to build.
You can follow Archambault's personal journey by sending him a friend request on facebook or on twitter at @Arch_Steve. You can also check out the Foundation's newly launched website at UnitingTheworldFoundation.org for more information and updates on this thrilling and bold undertaking.