ABOUT GEORGE CARTER
For decades George Carter’s ideas and inventions have led the way for the evolution of mechanical and computerized products that have not only entertained millions of people throughout the world, but have become part of our modern culture.
These products _ from personal watercraft to all-terrain-vehicles to laser games _ have revolutionized the way we spend our recreational time. And, they are examples of how Carter develops an idea to the prototype level and eventually into a successful business.
Photon (US Patent 4,695,058)
Perhaps Carter’s best known invention is “Photon,” the world’s first laser tag game. When the first Photon site opened in Dallas, Texas in 1984, it was an immediate success and gained national attention, including a segment on ABC’s 20/20. It also was featured in Forbes, Newsweek, and numerous other magazines, newspapers and television programs.
Eventually, some 70 Photon franchises were sold, including locations in Tokyo and Toronto. And in 2005, Carter was recognized by the International Laser Tag Association as the inventor and founder of the laser tag industry.
Today, laser tag is a staple in almost every family entertainment center and has become a multi-billion dollar industry.
Personal Watercraft (US Patent 3,324,822)
While in college Carter invented the world’s first motorized surfboard, which completed its first lake test in 1963. Two years later, Carter’s Surfjet prototype was produced. This invention featured a water-cooled engine coupled to an axial flow pump, the same basic system still used by all personal watercraft. Recently Carter retro-fitted a Sea-Doo personal watercraft with the industry’s first ever braking system.
Carter began working on an all-terrain vehicle named “Snoopy” during the late 1960s. The vehicle, which was specifically designed for off-road use, pre-dated all four-wheel ATV’s. His “Red Baron” model was capable of reaching 50 mph and is recognized as the first fast ATV. Coot Industries bought the rights to the Carter-designed ATV’s and produced them for sale to the general public.
Carter’s initial business was the Baja Raceway, an amusement concession track that opened in 1969. It featured a one-mile off-road style dirt track that included the world’s first two-seat concession car. That concept opened the market to families and set a precedent for concession tracks to this day.
Carter owned several concession tracks throughout the West in the 1970s.
Custom Wheels (US Patent 5,046,784)
Another Carter business, ZZ Wheelz, was based on the invention of a superior wheel cover retention system. The company produced OEM wheel covers for Subaru and Chrysler and custom wheels for the aftermarket. During this time Carter also designed wheels for American Racing Company.
One of Carter’s most recent inventions is the Trakvak – a device that dries paved racetrack surfaces. The Trakvak is different from most convention track-drying devices because it is designed to pick up water from the track rather than evaporate the water.