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The Ice Device: East Syracuse duo invents handy tool

The Ice Device is an invention of Eric Spero and Luke Sweeney of East Syracuse.

The Ice Device is an invention of Eric Spero and Luke Sweeney of East Syracuse. Provided

— It’s a simple solution for an everyday annoyance.

The Ice Device is a cross-shaped foam object you put in your glass to keep the ice from falling on your face when trying to get that last drop of liquid out of your drink. It comes in handy at summer barbecues, outdoor pools, and anywhere else you might find yourself needing an ice-chilled beverage.

Never heard of it? That’s probably because until just recently, it hadn’t existed.

The Ice Device is an invention of East Syracuse-Minoa junior Eric Spero and Luke Sweeney, 25, both of East Syracuse. The duo recently traveled to Chicago and presented their product at TeleBrands’ Inventors Day, where inventors from around the country gathered to pitch their products to TeleBrands founder and CEO AJ Khubani and a panel of judges, among them Anthony “Sully” Sullivan, in hopes of landing the next “As Seen On TV” hit. TeleBrands’ list of products includes OrGreenic, Lint Lizard, Sticky Buddy, Bake Pop and the PedEgg.

More than 400 inventors applied to pitch at Inventors Day; Spero and Sweeney’s Ice Device was one of only 25 products to make the cut.

The panel of judges decided not to endorse the Ice Device, but not out of any disapproval for the product itself, Sweeney said.

“They passed on it, but they said it was a clever idea,” Sweeney said. “They liked our thinking, but they have a price point they have to try and match and it’s like 9.99. And it cost us to make ours 99 cents for a whole sheet of foam, so each one is worth like 25 cents.”

Sweeney said the experience was more than worth the trip to Chicago, regardless of the outcome.

“It wasn’t as nerve racking as I thought it would be,” he said. “We weren’t sure who we were going to be pitching to … and we were surprised that it was AJ Kubani and Sully. It was really cool. And it makes you want to invent more things just to get invited back.”

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