I guess I need to talk to someone who knows about patents.
I'm no patent attorney and hold no patents myself, but I've seen enough people go through the process to know it's expensive, time consuming and will not necessarily protect you from knock-offs of your intellectual property. To justify the risk, most usually conduct a market study to determine how the product will be received, how many might be sold and to whom, at what price point. Meanwhile, they're investigating various materials and manufacturing strategies, to determine costs.
None of this is meant to discourage you Doc, but rather to give you some insight to the process based on my many observations. I really like your design and think it warrants further investigation on your part. I wish you all the luck and who knows, I might even buy one.