At Technidea Corporation “We Turn Ideas into Technology.” Accordingly, Technidea is short for Technical idea. Since its beginning in late 2001, Technidea has continued to turn numerous ideas into successful technologies. Most of the Technidea innovations have evolved from it's highly successful ZIPLEVEL® Precision Altimeter.

A Measurement Revolution

It was early in 1987 when Dennis L. Vories, PE, an enterprising Consulting Engineer was planning to build his new office and laboratory on six inspiring semi-mountainous view acres in rural north San Diego County. Vories, an electrical engineering graduate of Walla Walla University, a former electronics engineer for the Department of Defense and a registered Professional Engineer, had been in private practice for a number of years as a specialist in electronic and mechanical research, development and forensic engineering. Vories had his own dozer and was expecting to do much of his own grading and excavation around visual obstructions without an assistant. Conventional builder's levels and rotary lasers were difficult to use and needed line-of-sight so were incapable of doing the variety of measurements required for his construction project. In a flash of genius, Vories adapted a pressure sensor instrument that he had developed for an automotive instrumentation manufacturer to level and measure elevations directly in digits over broad areas. The resulting prototype was an unpressurized hydrostatic altimeter with an analog display module coupled to a cord reel with 30' of clear tube. At the hub of the reel, Vories used a toy balloon housed in a small protective jar to form a sealed reference for the altimeter. The display module used a simple analog adjustment for calibrating vertical accuracy with coarse and fine knobs to set the display to zero anywhere within it's 17' (5m) vertical range. Vories named his new instrument the Computer Level and used it in all phases of building his new office and lab including setting foundation and driveway concrete forms to within 1/16” (2mm).

With the new office and lab now ready to use, Vories initiated patent searches as the first step in patenting his precision altimeter. Much to his surprise, he found considerable hydrostatic altimeter prior art. Vories noticed that existing patents proposed hydrostatic altimeters that were impractical to produce and/or use. Although the Computer Level already solved some of those problems, Vories solved other problems and acquired his first hydrostatic altimeter patent. In 1991 Vories signed licensing and development agreements with the Stanley Works who provided the millions in funding for Vories to develop his invention into a practical product that Vories named Compulevel. Over the next five years, Vories acquired three additional powerful Compulevel patents and did virtually all of the Compulevel development including it's complex industrial design and automated production tooling in his new engineering office and lab that his Computer Level had helped to build. Vories installed the new production line at the Stanley Tools plant in New Britain, CT and Compulevel hit the World market with a bang in 1996. In that same year Vories was honored with design awards for his innovation from many sources including Popular Science, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the California Society of Professional Engineers, Electronic Component News and others. While receiving a $5,000 Grand Prize award for Compulevel from Design News at the annual Design Expo in Chicago, Vories shared the stage with Alan Mulally. Mulally was recognized as Engineer of the Year for his exceptional leadership in development of the Boeing 777 and was later the acclaimed CEO of Ford Motor Company.

Our Evolution

After five years in production by Stanley, Vories exercised his licensing rights to acquire the Compulevel assets from the Stanley Works in 2001. He started Technidea Corporation in Escondido, California to produce under the trade name of ZIPLEVEL® what remains the World's only precision pressurized hydrostatic altimeter. In the years since, Vories has continued to function as CEO of Technidea Corporation and assist with numerous new product innovations and improvements. Such improvements include increased speed and accuracy, 10X precision capable of detecting the thickness of a sheet of paper while still measuring the height of a mountain, a low cost Basic ZIPLEVEL®, Geotechnical products and innovative accessories expanding ZIPLEVEL® applications in ways never before imagined. In addition, Vories has designed a new advanced Automated Recharge System for deployment throughout the World and has assisted with installation of Service Centers in France, Germany, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia.

Vories continues to innovate in his private engineering practice that has provided services to NASA, foreign governments, General Electric, Acorn Engineering, The Stanley Works and numerous less well-known clients. Vories says of ZIPLEVEL®: “Of all the instrumentation and new products I've developed, ZIPLEVEL® continues to be the most successful. It is with great pleasure that our dedicated staff at Technidea Corporation continues to provide new technologies to make the world a better place.”


Prototype Computer Level - 1987

Vories Lab & Office
Built with Computer Level - 1988

Vories in Office
with Compulevel - 1996

Stanley Compulevel
at Batimat Show - Paris, France

Technidea ZIPLEVEL Stock
& 60 units bound for Europe

Europe Service Center Automation
in Vories Lab

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