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Saturday, February 17, 2007

RH: UK Telephone Boxes as Smoking Boxes

From: Robert Ho (ho3@pacific.net.sg)
Subject: RH: Business Idea for profit-sharing: UK Telephone Boxes as Smoking Boxes

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Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore
Date: 2004-01-17 08:26:45 PST


1. In the UK, most of the iconic red telephone boxes stand largely
unused because, with one of the highest ownerships of mobile phones in the world, most people carry their own mobiles and hardly need to use the public telephone box to make their calls.

2. To dismantle these red boxes will cost money and waste something
of use, even if rare or infrequent use.

3. Why not turn these into dual use boxes?

4. These red boxes can still continue as [infrequent] public
telephone boxes but they can also become Smoking Boxes where cigarette smokers, increasingly banned from public places like cafes and pubs, may go in to light up, away from the cold and the rain -- currently, they have to go outside the cafe or pub to light up on the pavement outside the cafe or pub.

5. All that is needed is to build in a small exhaust fan to suck out
the toxic smoke, operating continuously. Or switched on automatically
when someone steps into the box.

6. It would be ideal if the exhaust fan does not just suck out the
smoke into the streets but draws the toxic smoke through a filter or
neutraliser that neutralises all the smoke and poisons in the smoke,
producing only clean air that is then released from the box to the
outside air.

7. Since every telephone box already has power to operate the phone
and light, powering this exhaust fan cum filter/neutraliser is easily
done, and cheaply.

8. This idea can be done not only to the existing red boxes all over
the UK, but also to new boxes to be installed in cafes and pubs,
restaurants, etc. For example, owners of these premises will face loss of smokers business if laws to ban smoking in public places goes into effect. But by installing such red boxes for smokers to smoke in their cafes, pubs and restaurants, etc, owners can retain the smokers
business and custom while giving smokers a place to light up when the
urge to smoke is too strong. As they smoke, the smoke is neutralised,
so there should be little damage of overconcentration of smoke in the
box. The box can also double up as a place to make calls, either on
the installed public telephone or on their own mobiles, leaving the
restaurant, pub or cafe much quieter. This quiet place to make phone
calls will be welcomed both by the phone user and the rest of the
public in the premises because each will be shielded from the other's
noise/loud talking on the phone, etc.

9. Since the standard red telephone box is so iconic and a tourist
symbol and popular tourist souvenir replica, this would be a nice
design for any pub, cafe or restaurnt to buy and install. It is also
cheap because it is so standardised and in regular production already
with probably dozens of suppliers. The addition of the exhaust fan and neutraliser is only a minor addition and easily and cheaply done.

10. Of course, some public courtesy will be necessary, which the
British largely have in abundance. If a smoker is smoking inside a box and another user wants to use the phone, the smoker should quickly finish his/her puff and let the waiting user have the box. This should not be difficult. A simple sign [and maybe a public service campaign on tv should educate all concerned].

11. Use this idea as you please but if you make profits, you have an
obligation to pay some share to me.

Robert Ho
17 Jan 04
UK 1626 Singapore 0026


RH: I have enhancements that will make this business idea doubly more effective and profitable. I will prefer a business model for my idea along these lines:

1. Payment in advance: We will negotiate a sum for payment to me as
Advance Payment on Royalties Earned. Advance Payment is necessary as
my Buyer may take too long to produce and finalise the whole project
and I cannot wait. Part of the Advance Payment may be locked in a law
firm, to be released only on the Buyer's say-so, when he is convinced
that his total profits will vastly exceed the Advance Payment. The
rest of the payments will follow the 25% share of profit agreement.

2. However, I would also want an Excess Profits Clause whereby if the Buyer's profit exceeds US$500 million, my share will then go up from 25% to 50%.

3. The Buyer may also opt for a one-time payment after which I shall
have no further rights. To be negotiated.

Robert Ho
20 Jan 04
UK 1612 Singapore 0012

RH: Although my original idea was to double-use standard UK red
telephone boxes, it is now much, much bigger than this tiny use. A
Smoking Box, whether in the form of a Telephone Box or not, is an
extremely saleable idea. Pubs, cafes, restaurants, discos, offices,
cinemas, etc, etc, etc, will want to install at least one, if not
more. And this Smoking Box idea is not limited to the UK, it can sell
WORLDWIDE, wherever smoking has been banned.

Thus, many owners of public facilities will want to install a Smoking
Box if only to retain patrons who smoke, as well as providing a
civilised answer to the problems of smokers slowly poisoning
non-smokers with cigarette fumes. Thus, this is a BIG SOCIAL IDEA that is cheap to produce and implement, with worldwide sales possible. Just in the UK alone, this Smoking Box will sell in the millions to pubs, cafes, restaurants, discos, offices, etc. Worldwide, I cannot even imagine how many. Even if the manufacturer makes a profit of just 500 British pounds on each, the total profits will be staggering. The figure of a billion is certainly possible.

Thus, this idea is not just to adapt the Telephone Box but to devise a Smoking Box for sale to offices, pubs, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, in short, any public place where smoking is banned but which smokers
patronise. Thus, this solution gives the smokers a place to smoke
without irritating others. Thus, this Idea can be a blockbuster Idea
in terms of profits. Just give me a fair share, that's all. Also,
there's no reason why the Smoking Box should be a Telephone Box
design. It can be a totally different design, as long as there's
enough glass and sufficient soundproofing and sufficient airproofing.
It will be great in discos where the music is often too loud. It will
be great in offices where smokers can draw a puff without poisoning

Robert Ho
27 Jan 04
UK 1227 Singapore 2027

RH: The second thing to do is to secure patent[s]. [The first thing
to do is to contact me for the rest of the Idea and some negotiated
Advance Payment on future royalties/profits]. This will be negotiated
and will be a small percentage of all possible profits. Part of this
Advance Payment can be locked up in a reputable law firm so I cannot
access it until the Buyer gives the consent. This will protect the
Buyer just in case [almost impossible] that the Idea cannot work. Or
the Buyer drops the Idea of proceeding with it.

Next, after lodging Patents Pending with all Patent Offices in all
major countries, proceed to manufacture designs. These designs can be
futuristic [rocket shaped Smoke Box], cultural [Chinese Pagoda
shaped], even obscene [Phallus shape for discos?], etc, etc. Some
designs can cater to bigger locations such as big discos, etc, where 2 smokers may want to smoke together and allow for boy-meet-girl
situations where 2 smokers can go into a Double Smoke Box for a
'quiet' smoke-chat.

It would be good if the Buyer of my Idea has a worldwide distribution
chain that targets offices, restaurants, cafes, discos, etc, and I
think that a drinks or alcohol distributor may just have the kind of
worldwide distribution to launch this Smoke Box Idea quickly. I have
additional enhancement ideas that will help launch this quickly.
Contact me in London, NW3 7NE Flat 9. The Buyer need not be an alcohol distributor but could be in a totally unrelated business. After all, this Idea is so novel that nobody has exactly the right distribution. But a Buyer with an existing network worldwide can launch this Smoke Box Idea much quicker. It may also be quicker to launch this worldwide if the Buyer can patent the patents, then license the production to different agents in different countries.

Thus, the Smoke Box [can rename it to a more catchy and cooler name],
"Smoke Box" is only the generic name, can find worldwide application
and use, is so simple that any simple reasonably airtight box and
reasonably soundproof box will do. A reputable university like
Cambridge or Oxford or MIT in the USA can test the design and certify
that it is indeed safe for even a non-smoker to go into the Box after
a smoker has finished his cigarette[s], that there is no appreciable
lingering cigarette smoke say, 10 seconds after a smoker has finished
smoking, etc, and the project can begin. It will be a big social
change for smokers and non-smokers. It is a win-win Idea that will be
welcomed by all, from govts, establishment owners like restaurants and offices, etc, to smokers and non-smokers. It is a civilised way to treat smokers and protect smokers, both at the same time. You can't find better ideas than this. Unless it is another one from me.

Robert Ho
28 Jan 04
UK 1228 Singapore 2028