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State Students Develop Unique, Usable Products

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

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

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

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

Students created a vacuum cleaner that's lighter and more manageablethan anything on the market, with a new look for an old cleaningnecessity 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 ahands-free, dial-free phone where a voice command is all it takes to beconnected.

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

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

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

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