SeaTriever International, a Staffordshire company backed by the now-defunct Different by Design programme, is to take its Waterbuoy design to global markets.
The Waterbuoy device, created by James Halliburton and engineering consultant Peter Jeffrey, ensures that keys or other valuables will not get lost if dropped into water. The miniature unit can be attached to a range of objects and features a water-sensitive trigger which releases gas to inflate a balloon. A flashing orange beacon allows it to be seen at night.
Halliburton claims the product is the world’s first such miniature flotation device, with the strongest lifting capacity – 1kg – in its class. ‘Anyone who has ever been on board a boat, either at sea, on a river or a lake, knows that the one thing they dread is that their car keys, house keys, camera, GPS device or other valuables could be dropped into the water,’ he says.
The product has been two years in development and was part funded by Different by Design, a £2.7m project – itself funded through Advantage West Midlands – encouraging Staffordshire businesses to make better use of design. The programme reached the end of its three-year run last autumn.
‘Without Different by Design, this development would have taken considerably longer or may not have happened,’ adds Halliburton. He is now talking to European and US distributors about the product.