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British Teen Invents Doorbell That Calls Homeowner’s Cell Phone, Spooks Burglars

According to the Daily Mail, a 13-year-old by the name of Laurence Rook is in for a £250,000 payday thanks to a clever bit of engineering. When competing in a mock product design competition for school, Rook came up with the Smart Bell, a doorbell with a twist: When it’s pressed, it calls up the homeowner’s mobile phone and routes it over the intercom, allowing him or her to talk to whoever is outside the door.

Rook: “At first I designed the idea because my mum was fed up going to the Post Office to collect deliveries made when we were not at home.” But convenience isn’t the only thing going for Rook’s design: It also deters burglars.

‘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.’

20,000 units have already been purchased by British telco Commtel Innovate, and the Daily Mail reports that Rook is in negotiations to make 25,000 more for an unspecified other company.

(Daily Mail via Slashdot)

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