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Invention world's first colour bubbles

It wasn't quite forever but this toy inventor must have felt he spent an eternity blowing bubbles.

Tim Kehoe spent 15 years and an astonishing $3m (£1.8m) creating the world's first ever coloured blowing bubbles, which have now gone on sale.

Zubbles contain a special dye which gives them vibrant colours but disappears within just 15 minutes of the bubble popping.
15 years in the making... Zubbles are the world's first coloured blowing bubbles

Magic of colour: Zubbles come in a range of vibrant shades including reds, greens and purples

Tim, 39, from St. Paul in Minnesota, U.S., said: 'If you said to me, "You're going to spend a quarter of your life playing with bubbles," I'd have said you were crazy.'

But, determined to be the first to bring the magic of colour to the childhood toy, he pressed on.

He said:'You're so afraid of that day you wake up, and somebody else is on the cover of a toy magazine with coloured bubbles.'

The American technology magazine Popular Science awarded Zubbles the Grand Prize for Innovation in 2005.
Time well spent! Inventor Tim Kehoe spent a quarter of his life doing bubble experiments in his kitchen

Stainless: The revolutionary dyes colour the bubbles in rich, bright shades which disappears after they pop

The vibrant bubbles have gone on sale at $15 (£9) for two bottles on the Zubbles website and will be available in the UK later this year.

Created from special dyes, the colour in Zubbles vanishes when exposed to air, water or pressure.

The elegant physics of bubbles is surprisingly simple - just two layers of soap enclosed by a layer of water a million times thinner than an inch.

However, nearly all attempts to tweak their creation have failed.
Inter-generation dream: The colourful 'toys' will be a delight for parents as well as children because they promise to save hours on washing

Inventors have created slightly larger and longer-lasting versions, but the 'holy grail' of toys, bringing the magic of colour to bubbles, has been notoriously difficult.

When paint or food colouring is added, it runs straight down the sides and forms a spot of dye on the base of the bubble.

And while some dyes have successfully stained bubbles, they also stained people's clothes.

iPhone users can also enjoy the magic of virtual Zubbles with a new dedicated application.


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