The Midnight Scoop isn't your traditional kitchen utensil. It's the brainchild of Michael Chou, a South Lyon-based aerospace engineer who was looking for a more effective way to scoop ice cream for his kids.
After 38 prototypes, mostly designed and developed in the evening — hence the product's name — Chou found the solution to his problem: a curved handle that allows a person to push into the ice cream rather than utilize the standard prying motion, which can strain wrist joints.
"It protects your wrist from pain," says Chou, noting that his device significantly speeds up the ice cream scooping process. "And people don't have to wait for the ice cream to melt or soften before they scoop it."
While the shape looks simple, Chou notes that the smallest difference in the design can make an impact. Too much curvature, for instance, and the scoop gets stuck at the lip of the ice cream carton, he says.
Bringing his patent-pending idea to market is a process that first started more than two years ago. And it's one that has resonated with consumers. After all, when Chou launched a Kickstarter campaign in September seeking $17,500 to help fund his goal, he ultimately secured nearly $170,000.
Chou says his three-person team spent the next few months fulfilling orders through the Kickstarter, but is now buckling down to market the product to the rest of the world.
Looking forward, he says the company also plans to develop a dishwasher-safe version of the ice-cream scoop, new colors, and other possible applications for the technology.
For more information about the Midnight Scoop, priced at $50, visit midnightscoop.com.