Inventors Showcase Products At Local Expo

"Response Expo" Held In San Diego On Thursday

Many inventors were in San Diego on Thursday to promote their products, hoping to be on TV with the next big infomercial.

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You may have seen the television ads about the Snuggie, the Slap-Chop and other inventions made to target specific needs. Many of those similar products were first introduced in San Diego at the annual "Response Expo."

Some are made locally, including a product called the Shake Weight.

"It's been of those infomercial products that just hit a nerve and it's become very successful," said Johann Verheem, the president of Fitness I.Q.

The Vista-based company has sold more than 5 million units in the last three years.

Karen and Leah Schwochert were among 30 hopefuls showing off their inventions on Thursday. Their product is called the "Glam Ear."

"It is to protect your ears from burns associated with flat irons and curling irons, hot rollers and blow dryers," said Leah Schwochert.

They came up with the idea after their mother suffered a major stroke.

"She lost the use of her right side and the caregivers kept burning her ears," said Leah Schwochert.

The product is made in the United States and costs $12 for a set. It can only be purchased online. The Schwochert sisters said they are in San Diego hoping to find an investor and to one day have the famous "As Seen On TV" stamp on their product.

Inventor and TV personality Dr. Michael Ho has been making and selling products on television for more than 13 years.

"I actually don't like looking at myself on TV," he laughed. "I don't look that good on TV."

However, Ho makes the product look good and that is what sells. Each year, Americans spend $200 billion on products they see on TV. San Diego makes up 10 percent of that market, spending $200 million annually.

Year after year, San Diego has been placed in the top 10 consumer markets for purchasing goods through infomercials.

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