Sleep around the clock

Sleep around the clock

A new watch created by students will help you avoid any ill-timed naps

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(From left) Jessie Ng, Dorothy Lau, Jade Wong, Louiva Lai and Olivia Wan, members of the team Girlzzz, show off their watches.
(From left) Jessie Ng, Dorothy Lau, Jade Wong, Louiva Lai and Olivia Wan, members of the team Girlzzz, show off their watches.
Photo: Paul Yeung/SCMP

Have you ever been so tired you've dozed off and missed your stop on the bus or the MTR? Or perhaps you've fallen asleep in class? Jessie Ng Long-chee wanted to find a way of preventing this ever happening again.

"[Falling asleep] can cause many problems, such as unwanted embarrassment or missing your stop," says Jessie.

So the St Paul's Convent School student decided to do something about it. She teamed up with a group of students from around Hong Kong to work on a new invention as part of this year's Think Series Leadership Programme.

"Our product is called Dozeno. It's a portable wristwatch that has an alarm function," says the Form Four student. "The catch is it will wake you up when you doze off. It's a very intelligent product that can detect when you fall asleep."

Now into its seventh year, Think Series is an annual event which encourages local youngsters to think outside the box by celebrating their innovative ideas.

Partnering with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) this time around, the programme teamed up groups of students, asking them to come up with workable ideas, design new prototypes, and eventually present them at HKTDC's Electronics Fair.

Jessie's group, Girlzzz, was made up of students from all over Hong Kong, including Dorothy Lau Zi-wan, Jade Wong Yan-to, Louiva Lai Chak-yan and Olivia Wan Yee-lam. It was one of the four participating teams, with the other teams coming up with some cool ideas including a mini 3D light show.

So how does Dozeno work? The secret is in a sensor built within the watch.

"During the day, you wear it on your wrist as you would any fashionable watch," explains Jessie. "But when you activate it, you pull it up your lower arm, so that it can detect your muscle movements."

We're all familiar with that feeling of dozing off, almost dropping whatever you happen to be holding. And Jessie says it is this feeling that makes the gadget work.

"Because your muscles relax, the sensor detects a change. It will then activate the vibrator, which will be switched on to wake you up," she says.

It took the students awhile to come up with the concept, although it wasn't as difficult to create as they imagined. They were helped by a series of beginners' workshops arranged by the organisers. These taught the students to be observant and take inspiration from everyday life.

As managers of a startup business, the students also needed to take care of their own fundraising campaign. Girlzzz made use of crowd-funding website FringeBacker, where they raised more than HK$2,000, exceeding their planned target.

"It was very reassuring when our classmates decided to invest, simply because they believed in our idea," says Jessie.

The whole project, she adds, has proved a great opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship. The students had the chance to play to their strengths, with science students working on the mechanism and arts students focusing on design.

The girls are now thinking of making Dozeno commercially available.

"My friends involved in the student union might benefit from it," says Jade, another member of Girlzzz. "Sometimes they can't help but doze off in class due to a lack of sleep."

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Sleep around the clock

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