Major companies vie for device


A GROUP of transition year students has received offers from major companies for their secondary school product that stops ear phone cables getting tangled.

“We have received a few offers but the Vodafone one has been the best”, said designer Stephen O’Callaghan. Vodafone has provisionally ordered 10,000 units of the earphone holding device “Rap It”. The plastic pocket-sized device is for storing earphones to prevent damage.

The group of five boys ranging from ages 16-17 years old came up with the idea for their transition year mini-company product when the group, who are all big music fans, discussed the issue of earphones getting tangled.

“I would like the Vodafone deal to go ahead and for someone else to sell it internationally as well”, 16-year-old O’Callaghan added.

He estimated the deal will be worth about €10,000, while the units would sell for approximately €2 each.

The mini-company from Presentation College Carlow was recently one of three school projects to win the first Seán Lemass Awards for Enterprise.

“We’re having a good old time,” said 17-year-old Paul Farrell. “We’re hoping to target gym users and commuters in general, and young females and males from ages 12-19,” he said.

The mini-company has a target market of 14,000 in their native Carlow and 1.5 million in Ireland.

The group is currently finalising plans to have their creation mass produced in the next few months.

The plastic pocket-sized device is for storing earphones to prevent the damage that can be caused when they’re hanging loose. “We had a laser-cutter in school to make it” said O’Callaghan. “It works by slotting the two ear buds into the holes at the top of it, wrapping it around to the end and then slotting in the jack to hold it,” he said. The mini-company made the device in school in the colours purple, green, blue, red, yellow and orange. “We wanted it to be accessible to everyone”, he added.

He said while he was enjoying his newfound success, he didn’t plan on making a living out of it. “I want to do this for a little while but not in the distant future.” he said.

“We’re looking at setting it up now as a future company but I’m thinking of doing medicine in college,” he said.