Croydon boy Laurence Rook invents phone-linked doorbell
A 13-year-old boy from south London has invented a doorbell which calls the householder if nobody answers the door.
Laurence Rook, from Croydon, said he got thinking about his invention after his mother missed several deliveries.
The doorbell, with a built-in Sim card and an intercom, calls the householder if no-one answers the door within eight seconds, allowing the visitor to speak directly to the householder.
Laurence has already received orders worth up to £250,000 for the product.
A Dragons' Den-style competition at his school, the Trinity School, led to him developing his idea further - but he could not enter the competition as his working prototype was not ready in time.
Laurence, from Whyteleafe, said: "It started over a year ago when my mum was expecting a parcel to be delivered.
"It was the second or third delivery, and instead of leaving a slip saying 'please come to this post office and collect your parcel,' I thought 'why don't they call you?''Treat myself'
"And from there I thought of the idea of putting a phone inside the doorbell so you can talk to them.
"We have got orders from a company called Commtel Innovate and they have ordered 20,000 units and another company that is thinking of ordering 25,000 units."
On his plans for the profits, he said: "I would like to put some of it away for university and future things I might like to do, and then the other half I'd treat myself - clothes, games, everything I can."
Family friend Paula Ward, also an inventor, helped Laurence.
She said: "I worked with him from his basic drawings and how he wanted it to work.
"I got in touch with my contacts over in the Far East and got them to build prototypes."
Laurence's mother Margaret Rook said: "We are very proud of Laurence. It's been an exciting week."
The doorbell could be available in High Street stores as soon as September.