December 7, 2021 8.00 am

Stamford inventor makes “21st century alternative” glasses accessory

An alternative to “unsightly chains and cords”

A Stamford inventor has launched a new product described as an “innovative 21st century alternative to unsightly chains and cords for sunglasses and spectacles,” which is now available to buy on Amazon.

Former police firearms officer John Blaylock has been wearing glasses for around four years, but they kept slipping off and he didn’t want to wear a chain or cord.

The 56-year-old damaged a pair of expensive sunglasses whilst on holiday, as well as a few pairs of reading glasses, and was determined to come up with a practical solution and more stylish alternative to the “awkward and unsightly chains and cords favoured by older generations”.

John launched his business – Gripping Innovations Limited – last year to develop and release his new product Gripsee and for creating future inventions. After months of research into the way people interact with eyewear, he made Gripsee.

Gripsee is new, patent-pending, magnetic device for keeping sunglasses and spectacles safe and secure. It is lightweight with an interchangeable cradle system and reversible 4-way design.

The Gripsee is not only good for keeping glasses in place, but also for storing them. | Photo: John Blaylock

It has initially been launched with four classic colour options, and features powerful high-grade neodymium magnets protected with a micro thin layer of coloured lamination and a generous cushion of lightweight, flexible and luxurious ‘soft touch’ material.

Gripsee is available now to buy on Amazon, priced at £8.50, and John is already in discussions with wholesalers and a major retailer, as he hopes to have it on local high streets in time for Christmas. John is applied for a design patent around 18 months ago, which he is hoping to have granted by next year.

The patent pending reactive cradle system is precision engineered to minimise movement and maximise retention to ensure glasses are always safe and secure. There will also be more colour combinations released next year, as well as other new products in the future.

The former Uppingham Community College pupil has been inventing things since he was a child. At around 11-year-olds he made a human mouse trap out of cardboard, and has always been interested in making things, as well as being fascinated by magnets.

Gripsee is new, patent-pending, magnetic device for keeping sunglasses and spectacles safe and secure. | Photo: John Blaylock

John told The Lincolnite: “When I came up with the idea and did the research, there are some solar products out there, but they have issues such as magnets shattering or detaching, so I wanted to create something better.

“I think mine is far superior. It is not only good for keeping glasses in place, but for storing them too. It is more secure than cords and chains and looks nicer, and the magnets are stronger.

“The thing about Gripsee is that it sits on the chest area, so your glasses are always in sight and you won’t lose them.”

He added that although he had to import the magnets from China, the cradles, packaging and other materials were all sourced within a 60 mile radius of Stamford.

John was born in Buckingham and later attended Uppingham Community College in Rutland before joining the army.

He owned a pet food business before becoming a police officer on the beat at Cumbria Constabulary. He later became a police firearms officer before ending his career with the force in CID.

John, who has also lived in Glasgow, Essex and Yorkshire, also previously ran his own auto locksmith company and designed and manufactured parts for programming keys for 12 years.

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