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13-year-old boy earns a quarter million pounds for inventing a doorbell that tricks burglars

by Nicole
June 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm

A British 13-year-old schoolboy is about to win 250,000 pounds for inventing a special doorbell that tricks thieves and makes them believe that someone is at home at an empty property.

Smart Bell, designed by Laurence Rook, gets in touch with the home owner by dialing his mobile phone when not at home, allowing him to talk to whoever is at the front door as if he was there, reports Daily Mail.

The device even produces a certain amount of background noise, to give the unexpected guests the impression that they are talking to someone on the inside through an intercom system.

The invention that uses a SIM card would also allow the owners to give instructions to drivers making deliveries at their home.

Laurence Rook has already sold 20,000 units to telecoms giant Commtel Innovate and is set to finalize a deal with a second company for another 25,000 units.

If the agreement is signed, the boy will gain £250,000.

Laurence said that he initially conceived the idea because his mother was fed up with having to go to the Post Office to pick up mail parcels arriving when there was nobody home.

“When I started to develop the Smart Bell, I realized it could also be a great burglar-deterrent,” the teenager said.

“Most opportunist burglars ring the doorbell first to see if anyone is at home, but Smart Bell has the perfect way to counteract this. If you are out and a burglar comes up to your door and rings the doorbell, after ten seconds Smart Bell will ring through to your mobile phone and you will be able to answer. There is a small amount of white noise so it will sound like an intercom and the burglar will never know that you’re not actually inside the house, “says Laurence.

Laurence Bell had the idea for the invention in a contest at school, with which he won a scholarship to attend private Trinity School in Croydon, South London. He initially couldn’t enter the competition because he didn’t have a prototype.

With the help of his parents, Laurence was able to complete a real prototype after his plans.

12 months after the prototyping was completed, the company Commtel Innovate prepares to launch the Smart Bell product which will cost £40.

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