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June 5, 2006

Students are a step ahead with a doorbell alert for deaf

From: Scotsman - United Kingdom - Jun 5, 2006

A VIBRATING wrist band which alerts people who are deaf or hard of hearing when the front door-bell rings has been invented by a group of students at Heriot-Watt University.

The 18 students produced the idea as part of their course in management studies. The device is activated by a signal triggered by the doorbell.

Group leader Steven Morris, 21, said: "We needed to develop a business idea and launch plan and we thought it would be great to work on something practical which could be of real help to people, so we put together a prototype."

He added: "This vibrating device does not have to be a bracelet, but could also be worn as a piece of jewellery such as a necklace or as a brooch for fashion- conscious people.

"After all, it is not only the elderly who may have poor hearing - these problems are widespread throughout the population, with almost nine million deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK registered with the Royal National Institute for the Deaf."

There are a total of 400 students in 20 groups taking part in the course, all of whom are competing for prizes for the best business idea and business plan.

The winning teams will be announced by Professor John Archer, principal of Heriot-Watt University.

The awards ceremony is due to take place on Wednesday.