The Smart Wheel

The Smart Wheel on the Shark Tank

DUIT - Driving Under The Influence of Texting - Season 4 - Episode 418 - 2/15/2013

 The Smart Wheel was invented by 6 very smart teens from New Hampshire that are on a mission to Stop Driving While Texting. What started out as a project to compete in the First Lego League Competition that they eventually won, is now in a position to save lives if they can convince the Sharks that the Smart Wheel is worthy of an investment.

The Smart Wheel (Safe Motorist Alert for Restricting Texting) fits right over the steering wheel and has built-in sensors that go off if you take one of your hands off the wheel, thus making it impossible to Text while driving. If warned too many times, the Smart Wheel will send a text message to the parents notifying them on their kids driving habits.

What makes this soon to be Success Story so unique is the fact the 6 teens did not stop with just the invention of the Smart Wheel but they have continued to evolve and

make Driving While Texting their mission to warn other teens about how dangerous this habit is. They are now working on an educational program to share their story in classrooms across the country. For instance, when I took Driver's Safety Class back in, ah, we'll more then a few years ago, we were taught to keep your hands at the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock position. In fact, I even remember that question on my first driver's license test.

This was before air bags were the norm in new cars and it was considered the safest place to put your hands on the steering wheel. We'll according to the Inventineer's SMART Wheel website (and the actual design of the Smart Wheel Technology) the correct position is now 9 o'clock and the 3 o'clock position. Why? When the air bag is deployed, your hands holding the steering wheel are likely to be blown off and hit you right in the face. At the 9-3 o'clock position they are most likely to be blown to the side and causing less injuries. That's something I most likely would of never thought of had it not been for this article. I guess you really can teach an old dog a new trick.
Inventor's of the Smart Wheel
 President of the United State's
gets behind the Smart Wheel

The 6 Inventeer's are sister's Emily, Paige and Kate Balcom, and Jaiden, TJ and Bryeton who have secured the patent on the Smart Wheel and are now in the process of expanding on it's awareness with the DUIT (Driving Under the Influence of Texting) Campaign to teach all of us how to be safer driver's. At the Don't DUIT Website there is several good articles that I think a lot of drivers really need to read.

Currently, at this time (early Monday Morning) they have a counter showing just under 700 visits. It will be interesting to go back there after the Shark Tank airs this Friday Night and see how much their new site explodes in the number's. In fact, if your looking to do a good deed today, why not share that site with your Friends on FaceBook and have them share it with theirs? You don't have to drive very far these days to see this is in fact, a Very Big Problem.

So how is the Sharks going to treat these mini Shark Inventioneers? Knowing that what ever happens on that show will shape these 6 aspiring inventors for the rest of their lives, it's hard to imagine even Kevin O'Leary biting down to hard. Then again, we are talking about Mr. Wonderful who makes a million dollar offer during this episode. Could it be that the Smart Wheel has already secured a deal with a major car manufacture to implement it's technology into new cars? Even if they don't get a million dollar offer, I still believe (hope) they get a deal with at least one Shark.

What they are trying to save is worth a whole lot more then all the money in the entire world..
Visit the Smart Wheel Website
Inventioneers Blog
Don't DUIT Website
Follow The Inventioneers on Twitter

Smart Wheel Inventioneers Update after the Shark Tank 

 The six highly motivated inventioneer's entered the Shark Tank looking for $100k for their Smart Wheel invention in exchange for a 15% stake in the business. They need $75k to finish the industrial design and get it ready for manufacturing. Suggested retail price is $200 and estimates for $50 to produce. Kevin O'Leary likes the presentation but doesn't like the fact it will not stop someone from driving and texting but will only record that it happened. He suggests they have it electrocute the driver if they take their hands off the steering wheel.

They break the news that the most powerful person on the earth, President Obama, has put his seal of approval on this and that both of his own Daughter's will be using the Smart Wheel when they are old enough to drive. Robert Herjevic likes the product, but the presentation may be a little confusing. They are the Inventineer's that invented the Smart Wheel, and that's what they need the capital for. He suggests that they license the Smart Wheel and keep developing new products.

Robert offers them the $100k for 30% of the business contingent on a big car company interested in a licensing deal. Mark Cuban steps in and says he would be interested in going in on the deal but he wants to drop the contingency on the deal. They can take the prototype directly to the car manufacturer and have them in on the final design saving the much-needed capital for other expenses.

DEAL - The Inventioneers got a deal with Mark Cuban and Robert Herjevic for the full $100k and gave away only 30% of the equity.


  1. Anonymous2:17 PM

    This is fantastic. It restores my faith that there are kids out there who will take (and are taking) good care of the world, and care about more than getting plastic surgery at 16 or keg parties.

  2. Katie4:00 AM

    Mark Cuban did a fantastic job in how he handled this situation. They could of taken advantage of the inventioneer's noe and in the future of any more inventions but treated those kids like the business partners they now are. And yes Robert H. did a good job 2.

  3. Anonymous9:31 AM

    Wow invention well done. So proud of all of you,

  4. you guys are awesome. I don't care about shark tank, you guys rock. congrat.

    1. Anonymous9:05 PM

      I think without shark tank a lot of American dreams wouldn't come true. so I think your hasty belief on shark tank wouldn't of brought theses young inventors idea to reality.. always a hater... you don't understand the concept of the show... go watch oprah..

    2. I think you don't need to troll... The idea was already a reality before shark tank. They just needed the capital to start mainstream manufacturing. She was stating her opinion that she doesn't care for the show but does enjoy young inventors creating great products.

      P.S. Go watch more Dr. Phil

      Source: I'm a Mechanical/Manufacturing Engineer and I'm from New Hampshire...

  5. Anonymous7:08 PM

    I am so happy for and proud of the students!!!! I hope for much success and I pray that many lives will be saved!!!

  6. Anonymous7:13 PM

    To the inventors: I have 9 children and 15 grandkids... see a PROBLEM with the Smart Wheel, if it records each time you take your hand(s) off of the wheel, HOW DO YOU TURN THE TURN SIGNALS ON, without receiving an ALERT? Does the Smart Wheel record "Turning On a Turn Signal", or, similarly, turning on the "LIGHTS", or Honking the HORN? Not all cars allow you to do this without removing your hands from the Steering Wheel! What about setting the CRUISE CONTROL, radio volume, etc !!!

    1. The article states that "if warned too many times, the Smart Wheel will send a text message to the parents". The Inventioneers have obviously already made sure the parent wasn't going to get a text message every time the driver turned the turn signal on! Give these kids some credit! As a mother of teenagers, it's nice to see someone actively participating in saving our children's lives.

  7. Anonymous12:25 AM

    The sharks brought up some legitimate concerns on this. It doesn't really seem like a thing that I would have wanted if I was the kid behind the wheel. I think it would be much better if it were targeted as an employer-owned vehicle accessory instead, like the mass transit vehicle test that they mentioned.

    I don't know if the design was that great either. I feel like they could have used more of a continuous LED strip and gotten creative with them, like subtle patterns to remind drivers of the 10 & 2 hand positions and a more attention-getting warning than just a red dotted circle. It would require some fancier programming, but it definitely would help with the professionalism of the design, and might not throw off teen drivers as much.

    Ultimately, it's just a logistics problem - as a few people mentioned, briefly removing one hand from the steering wheel to pick up a drink or change the radio is a really common thing for all drivers, not just teens (texting or otherwise). I feel like it would produce a lot of false positives, so much so that parents would either stop caring or kids would get so frustrated that they couldn't prove they weren't texting that they would just tear the thing off the wheel.

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  9. What about handicapped drivers that use hand controls or people who have only one arm/hand. Also what about shift trucks and cars. You can't always have both hands on the wheel if you are shifting a car or truck. Also if you only have one hand guess what you only have one hand.

    1. Then you don't put this in your car! This is more for parents of new drivers to monitor if their kids are being safe.

    2. Anonymous9:11 PM

      It will go off every time you turn. U-turn, left turn, right turn, reverse. I don't know anyone who can drive without taking one hand off the wheel when driving. It was an inspirational idea, not realistic. Kid might want to use cruise control.

  10. Anonymous10:40 PM

    I think other kids will get smarter and find a way to mimic the placement of the second hand on the wheel - like wrapping something on the steering wheel.

  11. Anonymous1:33 AM

    It is extremely disconcerting to confirm parents need a control mechanism to monitor dangerous habits of spoiled, clueless teens which endangers the the general public. I was captivated by pyrotechnics and was allowed free reign, but the only risk was to my safety/body parts if something went wrong.

    Now I know will know what is happening if I ever see a teen passenger holding on to the wheel with one hand while the driver is texting.

  12. 5-speed manual transmission...?
    No need for cup holders....

  13. I would never buy a car with this steering wheel. I would see this being a huge waste of time and money. I would see this as a back fire to teach new drivers. You without a doubt would have to take at least one hand off the wheel while driving. It would make the inexperienced drivers even more nervous to drive just for the fear that when they get home the teenager would get an ear full from their parents then band them from driving. I know these six kids mean well but, REALLY not a good idea. I'm sure the president would maybe reconsider his daughters from using it also.

  14. Who drives with 2 hands?


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