Realtor, son hope to make it big with a smart invention
Apr 06, 2012 (Daily Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Herbie Morewitz said he's always had an inventor's mind.
Most only live as inventions in his mind.
But while none of his inventions have yet made it to the market, Morewitz is close on one product, the Smart Mugg travel mug.
The real estate agent is working with his son, Cory. They're participating in Walmart's "Get on the Shelf" contest and are also negotiating with a major travel mug manufacturer. Dad is the "big picture" inventor while son is better at problem-solving and trying to make the design work.
The Smart Mugg has a patent pending for its automatic lid. The hole that you sip from automatically opens when you put it to your lips and closes when you set it down.
"I like it because it's simple," Morewitz said. To promote Smart Mugg, they produced a tongue-in-cheek video that compares Smart Mugg to other great inventions, like the wheel, the automobile and the first moon landing. To see the video, go to http://smartmugg.com.
Morewitz, 48, is owner of Newport News-based Morewitz Realty. A married father with two adult children and one granddaughter, he is the subject of this week's Five Questions.
How did you come up with the name Smart Mugg?
It was the best name that we found that didn't already have a (web site address). People spend a lot of time thinking of names, but I consider it kind of like the curtains on your house. The product is the important thing. You can always change the name.
Where would Smart Mugg be made and sold at if you don't win the Walmart "Get on the Shelf" competition?
We don't know yet. We're negotiating with a major travel mug manufacturer. We pitched it to their CEO, and there's a lot of interest, but we're holding off until we see how the Walmart competition goes. Our objective is to have them made in America and to be eco-friendly.
Can you tell us about some of your other inventions?
I invented Smart Radio, which is essentially a way to automatically search FM and satellite radio stations for songs that you like. (It's a similar idea to the Internet-based Pandora radio) But I couldn't convince radio stations to adopt it. They thought it would take away from their listeners. I have other inventions, but I don't have patents pending on them, so I can't talk about them right now.
Do you have any hobbies?
I really like playing tennis, and I organize some leagues. I've met some of the most interesting, best people that I would have never met had I not played tennis.
Tell us a little about your family history.
Our family has been here over 100 years, going back to my great-grandfather Harry (Morewitz). He owned a drug store and was a ship outfitter. His slogan (If Little Morewitz Says It, It's So) was a play on words on his short height, and that he always kept his word.
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