Boys and Girls Club team captures state honors for movie invention
By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on August 25, 2008 1:38 PM
Members of the Boys and Girls Club's Team Goldsboro pasted pictures inside their sunglasses and headed to Raleigh.
The five teens, on a mission to promote their idea, knew the theoretical invention they named "Veyez" was doable, and they were determined to sell their business plan for manufacturing it to a room full of judges. They showed up dressed alike, gave their presentation and took first place in the state.
Tatiana Johnson, D'Rahjae White, Iveon Sprangle, Enrique Moses, Markell Newton were prepared, and they were all business.
"We had to put the fun aside," said Miss Johnson, who served as marketing manager with D'Rahjae White for the group's "New Generation Technology Hologenerator Co."
Each product had to incorporate the hologenerator in its makeup, and Team Goldsboro wanted its product to be something that had never been made before.
The group decided on a pair of sunglasses that would allow the user to view a movie.
Once in Raleigh, Miss Johnson had a feeling the group would win the competition held for Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the eastern half of the state, which was sponsored by Pioneers in Technology, a civic club formed by AT&T employees in Raleigh.
But getting to the presentation stage wasn't easy, the teens said.
Through June and August, they said they worked on nothing else but their presentation.
"It was stressful. We were pushed to the limit. It required a lot of work," Miss Johnson said. "We had to answer a lot of questions."
And while the other Boys & Girls Club members were playing basketball, Team Goldsboro was poring over its plan, said Iveon Sprangle, who served as New Generation's project manager.
He remembers how the group came up with the product.
"We were all brainstorming sitting in this corner, and we asked ourselves what do we want to invent," he said. "We were asking each other what it is people want to see that is not out there right now."
An iPod or an MP3 player wasn't good enough, the teens decided. They needed something no one else had created.
"Somebody who was on the team last year said, 'Put it in a pair of sunglasses.' That was Javon Williams. He's still a member of the Boys & Girls Club, but he wasn't on the team this year," Miss Johnson said.
"So, we took it and ran with it," said D'Rahjae White, another marketing manager for the company.
Their sunglasses were state-of-the-art, the teens said.
"The eyewear comes with a USB port so you can load television shows, movies and music videos," White said.
The product comes with Wifi and wide angle lenses so the image appears far away and small, although it is right there in the eyewear, Miss Johnson added.
But once they decided on their product, Team Goldsboro had to sell it to the judges. That meant creating a prototype, an advertising campaign and a PowerPoint presentation.
And just to make sure they had all the bases covered, the team included a safety warning -- the user should sit down and not operate the product while walking. Their invention, they said, was for use at the beach, while waiting for a doctor's appointment or perhaps spending an afternoon in the park.
Their product was hands-free and had a built in speaker and voice recognition.
"And then, when you turn it off, you can see through them like regular sunglasses," Miss Johnson said.
Enrique Moses, who served as general manager with Markell Newton, said the team knew with such a unique product, the company would not have to worry about having to tell the judges how it was better than all the others, because there were no others.
"We knew most would think in terms of what's already out there," Moses said.
The team said the Veyez would cost about $150 a pair and would come with a two-year warranty. They told the judges that their product would be marketed to consumers in the 18 to 45 age range.
"This would include military members, college students, older teens and people 18 to 45 who have a steady desire to be entertained," Miss Johnson said. "We did the research. And 98 percent of TV lovers and those who own Ipods and MP3 players would love our product."
And although they do not expect to see their product on the shelves anytime soon, the team was happy to bring home the first-place honors and $750 for their home club.
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