Invention blocks drops into console crevice

LOS ANGELES But consumer specialist Ric Romero says a couple of local inventors have come up with a way to stop the drop.

Ask any driver if they have a problem with stuff falling into the gap between the seat and the center console in their car and their answer is a resounding, "Yes."

The gap between your console and the seat is like a bottomless pit. How often do you find things like coins, your cell phone or a set of keys? Or maybe you might even find a shoe down there or an iron skillet or maybe even a set of bongo drums.

All kidding aside, when you drop something while driving, it can be trouble. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 500,000 accidents and 6,000 fatalities occurred last year because of driver distraction.

Meet Marc Newberger and Jeffrey Simon of Los Angeles, inventors of the Drop Stop, an easy to install device that slips into the gap to prevent objects from falling into it.

"You run it through the seat belt loop, and it drops down, stuffs down into the gap, and no matter what color your upholstery, there's always a dark shadow in the gap, so they always blend," describes Newberger.

The Drop Stop is made of neoprene and polyester fiberfill, but it took a lot of prototypes to come up with the finished product.

"When we first came up with the idea, we knew that it had to be something that was very moldable and something that can fit into any sized gap," described Simon.

"So, one of the very first things we did was we literally got two figure-eight sponges from the carwash, took one of Marc's very nice dress socks that's now been ruined, and cut just a slot, and that's where you actually put it right over the seatbelt catch, and it would fit right in," he added.

And not only did it take a lot of prototypes, it took a lot to name it too.

"My ultimate favorite was something called the, 'For-Gap About It,' and I really wanted this big Italian guy to be the spokesperson to just take a look at it and say, 'Hey! You know it's so easy, you just put it in and you 'For-Gap About It,' and everybody was going, 'No, no,'" said Newburger.

"We came up with the 'Wonder Wedge,' 'Wiggie Wedge," the 'Gap Goalile,'" described Simon.

Whatever the name, the drop stop works and sells for $19.95 for two of them.

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