Shannon Technologies

Automotive Solutions

Audiologically Enhanced Turn Signal

Thank you for your interest in the Shannon/Heller scientifically improved turn signal flasher.

We appreciate you taking the time to look over the following materials and prototype in order to determine whether there might be any interest on behalf of your company to manufacture and distribute the product and whether you might wish to discuss entering into either a licensing agreement for all or any elements covered by our patent, or a teaming relationship to manufacture and bring to market flashers incorporating the Shannon/Heller patented technology.

Safety Problem Addressed

The problem addressed by Patent Number 5,218,340 is the unsafe driving condition caused when the turn signal is inadvertently left on because the driver cannot, due to background noise and/or hearing impairment, hear the "click" of the turn signal flasher.

Who We are

By way of introduction, James W. Heller and Malcolm L. Shannon, Jr., in addition to having been former neighbors, are a medical engineer [B.S. (1975) and M.S. (1977) in Electrical Engineering] and an attorney [B.B.A. in Industrial Administration (1968) with two years of Mechanical Engineering and a J.D. (1971)] respectively, each with significant business and industrial experience.

Mr. Heller was formerly the Director of Engineering at Cochlear Corporation (which manufactures implants for the cochlea of the human ear), and Mr. Shannon is the retired Counsel for General Atomics (which is a high technology company involved in all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle as well as some aspects of electronics manufacturing.) and is now Vice President of WildHorse Energy. Apart from their regular employment, Jim and Malcolm formed an association for the purpose of developing the subject devices.

Linear Manufacturing L.L.C. of Colorado Springs, Colorado, owned by Mr. J. Palace, specializes in circuit board design, manufacture and assembly. As a contractor to Mr. Shannon and Mr. Heller, Linear prepared the circuit board design, manufactured and assembled the delay circuit board used in the below described modules. Linear has expressed a strong interest to remain involved in the project. It is Mr. Palace's desire for Linear to utilize its expertise to participate in a teaming arrangement to develop production versions of the modules, to manufacture the modules as well as to assemble flashers incorporating the modules.


The inventive process began when Malcolm Shannon was a passenger in a car driven by his father when the turn signal failed to automatically cancel after a turn. After driving awhile, he questioned his father and determined that it was not due to inattention that he had not manually turned the signal off but because he could not truly hear the warning "clicking" of the turn signal flasher. Malcolm purchased various turn signal flashers and conducted tests with them and the sounds they produced. Utilizing his father as the test subject, he conducted experiments to determine which sounds and tones (including some produced by his Fender Stratocaster guitar!) he could hear best in the presence of background noise. Later, he discussed his ongoing research with his neighbor, Jim Heller, after learning of his expertise in audiology. They began their collaboration by conducting more experiments and constructing and testing hand-built prototypes of various embodiments. After a patentability search the patent application was filed. Later, Mr. Shannon met Mr. Palace and had Linear Manufacturing design and construct the circuit boards and assemble pre-production versions of the modules for further testing of functionality, sizing constraints and durability. Linear continues to conduct ongoing testing of pre-production prototypes in accordance with applicable SAE Standards. Upon completion of testing and after sourcing of components, construction and assembly of production models will begin. Current plans are to produce one thermal and one electronic model (each in a three-pin and a two-pin configuration) of the best-selling (i.e., the model fitting the widest variety of vehicles) to support the initial test marketing and distribution program. Mr. Shannon and Mr. Palace are also currently completing the design and prototype for optimized models utilizing less components while supporting use in a wider range of vehicle applications as well as a configuration for use within Lighting Control Modules (LCMs).