Science
Ottawa boy’s invisible invention warns birds about deadly windows

Ot-090121-Charlie-Sobcov
Ottawa boy’s invisible invention warns birds about deadly windows via Hacked Gadgets.

Eighth grader Charlie Sobcov wants to stop birds from dying in collisions with windows, but he doesn’t want to ruin anybody’s view.

For his latest school science fair project he has invented painted, plastic decals that can be placed — discreetly — right in the middle of a window pane.

“This paint is a colour that birds can see but humans can’t,” he said Wednesday on CBC Radio’s All in a Day. “It’s like putting a big stop sign in the middle of the window.”

The colour is ultraviolet, beyond the range of colours visible to humans. That means the “stop sign” lets birds know the window is solid, but is nearly invisible to humans.

Similar flying falcon-shaped decals already exist on the windows of some buildings, but unlike Sobcov’s, they are black and can obstruct part of the window.

14 thoughts on “Ottawa boy’s invisible invention warns birds about deadly windows

  1. Why the existence of prior art in the case is not so bad: http://clevermonkey.org/index.html?wl_mode=more&wl_eid=623

    After all, this is for a grade-school science fair. This is basic research, which is a tool we should still reach for first. He might still have discovered new properties and applications by coming at it from another direction.

    Doing a web search and giving up is for tired grumpy adults like me.

    Why isn’t this process an option for industrial glazing?

  2. That is a pretty smart and creative kid.

    To the dumb adults complaining about the fact it already exists: This was a school science fair project. Have you ever been to one of those? The fact that he came up with something this original rather than doing an easy project like making a potato battery is to be commended. This is the type of thing that needs to be encouraged in kids, they learn so much from coming up with ideas and trying them out.

  3. sometimes having the internet is bad, going out and searching for something and finding it already exists would have stopped him, where as coming to the same conclusion from a different direction still yields new results

  4. That’s awesome, Charlie. Very cool idea.

    If you’re reading these posts, ignore the grumps and naysayers who will always be eager to tell you something has been done before. They seem to have quickly forgotten that this site is filled with ideas that have been done before. There have been many path finding robots, catapults, and flashing light displays made throughout the past. The twist is of course that these ideas being done by individuals such as yourself. We are the modern day magicians, and illusionists; the tinkerers, the creators, the makers. Welcome to the club. We can always use more like you.

    Here’s to the next generation of Makers, not asking “Has it been done before?”, but instead concerned with asking themselves a much more noble question, “Can I do it myself?”

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