The Huffington Post David Moye First Posted: 12/03/12 EST Updated: 12/03/12 EST
Richard Heene learned the hard way that what goes up must come down back in 2009 when he attempted to hoax the world by sending a silver helium balloon into the atmosphere that supposedly contained his then six-year-old son, Falcon.
He wasn't, but when word got out that the whole stunt was preplanned, Heene was eventually sentenced to 90 days in jail for the hoax, and ordered to pay $36,000 in restitution. His wife, Mayumi, was sentenced to 20 days of weekend jail.
After a shaky period, Heene is shaking things up in a different way, by creating a product called YourShakedown that is designed to save consumers money by shaking bottles and cans containing sticky substances like ketchup, shampoo and peanut butter so that every last bit comes out.
The product looks sort of like a Mixmaster that read the "50 Shades Of Grey" trilogy, but Heene believes this new product will save consumers and businesses hundreds of dollars the first year despite a $179 price tag -- $359 for the restaurant version.
"It should pay for itself when you add in the gas it takes to drive to the store for one item you suddenly ran out of," Heene told The Huffington Post. "I figured Americans do between eight to 16 trips a year for things like ketchup, peanut butter or shampoo."
Heene was first inspired to create YourShakedown more than 30 years ago while working at TGI Fridays.
"Each night we'd collect the ketchup bottles and turn them upside-down over the others -- they have stands for this -- and I thought there must be a better way," he said. "Then earlier this year, my son Bradford wanted ketchup for his fries, but we couldn't get it out of the bottle -- and there was at least 11 packets worth of ketchup on the sides."
It might seem that modern-day condiment packaging has answered this problem, but Heene says no.
"Those flat-headed ketchup bottles? Gravity knocks them over so we keep them right side up anyway," he said.
Heene's shaky device just went on sale, but it's not the only invention he's created in the aftermath of the infamous balloon boy hoax.
In 2010, a year after that scandal, Heene created the "Bear Scratch," a post that attaches to an interior or exterior wall that allows humans to scratch an itchy back the same way bears do in the wild.
Last year, he created something called the HeeneDuty Truck Transformer, a pick-up robot that can lift over 2,400 pounds and allows truck owners to load-up and go within a few minutes.
He said the company he licensed that product to is currently taking orders for it, but is still building a factory model.
Meanwhile, he is trying to downplay the scandal that made him an internationally known parental pariah, but admits he may entertain movie offers about it at a later date. He still maintains there was no hoax.
"I am focusing on the boys and the family and don't really want it reasserted, he told HuffPost. "But maybe one day, when they're older, I'd entertain offers."