Gympie inventor is ahead of the rest
LIKE all great inventions, the concept is simple - and the need it fills could positively impact drivers across our roads.
The Safe-T-Rest headrest, created by Gympie inventor Chris Albert, is designed to improve comfort and support for drivers.
The major feature of the product, however, is the work it will do in reducing the severity of whiplash injuries.
"A few years ago I was travelling along the highway and there were roadworks,” Mr Albert said.
"The guy came out with the stop sign, we all stopped - except for the guy behind me.”
Hospitalised after the ensuing accident, it would take another four years for him to recover enough to resume his career in the racing industry.
The ordeal prompted him to try to improve the protection provided by headrests while on the road.
Larger than the standard issue headrest, the Safe-T-Rest accommodates for the erratic movement a head can make following a collision.
Its adjustable pins and axis allow it to be easily installed in most cars, from sedans to four-wheel-drives.
The development has been an ongoing and detailed task.
An initial design led to modifications, which led to development of a prototype and a subsequent trip overseas to produce a limited range of the products.
"I was there and helped assemble them. I didn't want there to be a second-rate job on these,” he said.
Returning to Australia, the headrests passed the requisite safety considerations and guidelines "with flying colours”.
Patents for Australia, America and even China have also been filed and approved as well.
The goal is to now turn Mr Albert's invention (and investment) into a business.
Early indications show there's a strong interest in the product with drivers.
"I estimate I've sold maybe 20 or 25 units just here in Gympie, which is great,” he said.
"The next goal is to get the product out there a bit more - there are plans to take it to a couple of auto shows this year.”
If you're interested in learning more about the Safe-T-Rest, Mr Albert has set up a website and online store.
Go to www.safetrest headnecksupport.com.