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Issued:06/08/14

An interactive doorbell, designed by a Sheffield Hallam University business student, has caught the attention of some of Europe's leading innovators.

Daniel McGrane, a third-year Business and Enterprise Management student at the University won a paid internship with Sharp Europe after designing SmartBell - a mobile phone app that allows householders to view and communicate with a visitor at their door, whether they are at home, at work or on holiday.

SmartBell is designed to increase home security and allows homeowners to speak to visitors when they aren’t present, for example, to give delivery instructions to couriers. SmartBell would notify a person's mobile phone when there is someone at the door; allowing them to see who is there, have a video call or play a pre-recorded message.

Daniel’s design has earned him a summer placement amongst some of Europe’s leading innovators at Sharp Laboratories of Europe, based in Oxford. He won the placement after entering the company's annual internship competition which asked students to tweet product ideas for the home of the future and was judged by a team of scientists from the laboratories and two independent design experts.

Daniel, 23, said: “A bell that sends notifications to a Smartphone was my first idea, and the idea to be able to video call whoever is at your door followed. The exponential growth in ordering online means that there needs to be home technology in place which facilitates this trend." 

Managing Director of Sharp Laboratories of Europe, Ian Thompson said, “Sharp would like to thank everyone that entered. We were delighted by the number and breadth of applications, covering everything from Daniel’s interactive doorbell to an allergy identification system. It took us six hours to discuss the entries, but we felt that Daniel’s SmartBell concept was relevant, innovative and practical.”

Notes for editors:

Sharp Laboratories is responsible for developing cutting edge innovations, which help solve a genuine human need, including mobile LCD technology and the ‘lab in the palm of your hand,’ an express blood test technology allowing point of care blood testing in a matter of minutes.

For press information: contact Sarah Duce in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 4025 or email pressoffice@shu.ac.uk