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State Students Develop Unique, Usable Products

Posted December 10, 1997

— Big companies pay thousands every year for designers, engineers and marketers to come up with new products and new ways to sell them. One product development class at NC State isn't getting paid to do it, but they are trying to make the grade on final exam day.

"They're charged with conceiving a new product," explains the course instructor, "developing that and doing the market research that is behind that, as well as the engineering components and elements, and then designing a semifunctional working prototype."

It's a lot for students anywhere, but this group wasn't afraid. They were ready to satisfy the needs of the customers with new products they thought were significant.

Every aspect of design, engineering, and marketing went into every project, and in only 15 weeks. These are the same type of projects that take companies years to perfect.

Students created a vacuum cleaner that's lighter and more manageable than anything on the market, with a new look for an old cleaning necessity from blueprint to reality.

How about a can opener that doesn't discriminate against left-handers? You can even open a can no-handed with this thing. There's also a hands-free, dial-free phone where a voice command is all it takes to be connected.

For the gun owner, the students have devised a safety locking device for handguns with a coded lock, allowing gun owners to get to it fast, while keeping children and unwanted users out.

Although many of the inventions are just school projects, some of the students plan to move forward with their ideas.

No word on how long it will be until you see some of the inventions on the market.


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