Steven (Age 13) – Inventor of the Chromo Tag*
When Steven first thought of his idea for Chromo Tag, he probably didn’t realize how far it would take him.
“I saw a commercial for toy cars that change color when wet. Later I thought about how if we were to be able to wear this material and have a water fight in them, then it would be a lot like laser tag or paint ball, but its less expensive and you can play anywhere, anytime,” Steven says. “You wear color-changing hydrochromic or thermochromic paint on a badge, vest, or shirt (i.e., target), and have a water fight. This way you can see when you get hit or “tagged” when the target changes color.”
Chromo Tag is an outdoor action game for all ages. Once tagged, a player waits until the color ink dries or disappears and then they can get back in the game. Through Steven’s research, he found that this technology is not common among the toy industry and will bring an entirely new game play to the market at a lower cost than similar games.
“We had our first prototype that we made which were white thermochromic t-shirts, then we made vests, then small badges, then we got into hydrochromic paint on paper or vinyl targets. The last few versions use a 3D printed components.”
With an active schedule of school, athletics, music and stage acting, Steven somehow still managed to find time to invent this new form of paint ball that uses simple science to avoid the pain that is felt when hit by a traditional paint ball capsule. So, with his prototype and research in hand, he entered the Chicago Toy & Game (ChiTag) Young Inventor’s Challenge, a program sponsored by industry professionals that encourages children, ages 6 to 18, to showcase their own original toy & game inventions. His idea was so good that it took home top prize in the Senior Inventor’s Category (ages 12-18) and has since launched his inventor career.
And what’s next for this budding inventor?
Well, he and his father, Larry, will be appearing on the April 28th episode of ABC’s The Toy Box, a new reality show about inventing the next big toy. But if you ask him directly, he’s just going with the flow.
“I honestly have no idea. I will simply work on what inspires me based on occurrences that take place around me.”
Visit ChiTag Young Inventors Challenge, to learn how you can enter your own invention. Deadline to enter is October 31.