Innovation That Matters

Thumb-sized floatation device lifts up to one kilo

Work & Lifestyle

As featured on BBC’s Dragons’ Den last night, young entrepreneur James Halliburton is bringing an innovative solution to market for boaters who are worried about losing valuable items overboard. Waterbuoy is a tiny device that combines a miniature gas tank with a trigger mechanism, a balloon and a light. Once the Waterbuoy hits the water, the gas inflates the balloon and the submerged item is pulled up to the water’s surface. Aiding retrieval at night, an integrated LED light switches on and keeps flashing for 24 hours. Despite its diminutive size, the Waterbuoy can lift up to 1 kg in weight, making it useful for more than just keys. Anything—cameras, phones, GPS units—can be stored in a dry bag attached to the Waterbuoy’s snap-on hook for safe retrieval. So, what happened in the den? Dragons Theo Paphitis and Peter Jones agreed to invest GBP 100,000 each for a combined equity stake of 20%. Their interest was piqued not only by the current Waterbuoy product, but also by the possibility of designing larger versions that would be able to help keep pets, people and even entire boats afloat. Waterbuoys are sold for GBP 12.99 from, available for dispatch later this month, and are set to be stocked in UK stores early 2008. Time to get in on distribution!



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