Jiangsu man invents ‘single player fitness and entertainment shuttlecock’
Have you ever had the problem of wanting to play badminton but no opponent was available? The front page of the Huaihai Evening News (淮海晚报) from Jiangsu province today reports that Wu Hongzhong (吴宏中) from Huai’an (淮安) has just obtained a patent for a type of single player fitness and entertainment shuttlecock (一种单人健身娱乐羽毛球), meaning that where there is a wall, there can now be badminton.
On first impressions the single player fitness and entertainment shuttlecock looks like any other shuttlecock, but its head is mostly made out of the material used in a rubber ball, giving the shuttlecock a whole lot of extra bounce. The inventor himself gave the journalist a demonstration, softly hitting the new shuttlecock against a wall. The journalist remarked that it very much resembled a ping pong ball with rapid rebounds and strokes, so that one player, the journalist concluded, can play with unbridled joy (不亦乐乎).
Inventor Wu explains that he came to the idea for this invention one day when he was unable to find a partner to play badminton with, his favorite hobby. So he sat thinking, what to do?, when he struck on the idea of using the more flexible material of a rubber ball in the head of the shuttlecock. This greatly increased the flexibility of the shuttlecock, and changed its trajectory as well, making it suitable for single players to enjoy it for both ‘fitness and fun,’ hence the name.
Wu first perfected his invention in May last year, and has since enjoyed many hours of single player badminton. But because many people did not really take his single player fitness and entertainment shuttlecock very seriously, Wu decided to apply for a patent at China’s Intellectual Property Office. It took nearly half a year, during which Wu almost gave up because it took so long, but he finally got his patent approved on 22 August this year.
So what’s next for Wu? Perhaps he could take his single player fitness and entertainment shuttlecock overseas? No, Wu is keeping his feet firmly on the ground, acknowledging that his invention is really very simple and anyone can do it. People should just use their brains, he says, think a bit more, have the courage to try something new, and you too could get your own patent.