Ref for the Deaf

Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been embarrassed while playing sports. Just last weekend, I was running to the far side of the tennis court when I see classmates waving at me and pointing to the other side. Obviously, I needed to go to the near side of the court. Usually, I make sure I am going in the right place, but it doesn’t always happen.
Yesterday’s The Dallas Morning News (might require free registration) has an article about a local (Richardson is a Dallas suburb) hearing teen who invented Ref for the Deaf (site coming soon). The device consists of a bracelet for the deaf athlete and a transmitter for the referee. When the ref blows the whistle, fires a starter gun, or does anything to stop the action, the bracelet vibrates or lights up.
Two University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) grad students created a business model for the invention. It’s wonderful that a teen set out to solve a problem that she saw. I would’ve appreciated something like this during my regular sports playing days. Since I just play tennis now — I usually tell my opponent that if I keep playing after the ball is dead — it’s only because I may not be sure the play has stopped. They are respectful about that.

1 comment

    • casey walsh on June 1, 2008 at 11:32 am
    • Reply

    I came up with this idea in 2001 and did a business plan for the idea. I called it Precision Strp and the concept could be used as a wrist band or ankle band.
    I live in Canada. Please email me if anybody wants to chat about it.

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