Inventors Seek "Next Big Idea"

The "As-Seen-on-TV" and infomercial market is a $20 billion industry known for selling people products they never knew they needed.

The market is a force to be reckoned with, especially since business in the sector is booming in the down economy.

But where do all those products come from?

"The Early Show" went to Fairfield, N.J. to find out. At the Telebrands Inventor's Fair, 74 aspiring inventors from 65 cities flocked to the event to get a chance to cash in on their ideas.

The head judge of a panel that gives a thumbs-up or down to the inventors is the CEO and founder of Telebrands, AJ Khubani. He's the force behind such "As-Seen-On-TV" products as The Windshield Wonder and the Ped Egg, an at-home pedicure kit that sold over 30 million units.

According to Khubani, the formula for these products' success is simple:

"It's got to solve a common problem. It's got to have mass appeal. It's got to demonstrate well on TV. It's got to be something we can retail for $10 to $20."

While some devices at the fair interested the judges for possible promotion, such as a device that eliminates water-filled cups in the dishwasher, others fell flat.

However, no matter the outcome from the panel, the fair was just the beginning.

One unidentified man told , "I got a thumbs down here, but we talked to a lot of inventors and we still feel like we might have something to put on the market."

And three inventors brought their gadgets to "The Early Show" Thursday.

David Slockbower, of Blairstown, N.J. had the "E-Z Shopper," which uses a handle that can grab a number of shopping bags at the same time to make bringing shopping bags from the car into the home easy. The device can hold a tremendous amount of weight. Slockbower invented the "E-Z Shopper" after hip replacement surgery because he couldn't balance the bags and his cane.

Jim Bonner, Akron, Ohio, showed the "Hang Glider," a hanger that has a moveable arm to insert in and out of shirts, sweaters, dresses to make putting your clothes on and off the hanger easy without stretching the garment.

And Terrance Sommerville, of Newark, N.J. displayed his Solarville Solar Battery Charger that can charge a cell phone and iPod, among other electrical devices.