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26 May, 2006 - 17:35 By Staff Reporter

Hong Kong-Norfolk axis gives product design firm an edge

A Norfolk product design agency is winning new international commissions to help develop a range of inventions.

Product Resolutions says it is gearing up for growth following major new business wins for clients including Hornby and electronic publishers Franklin.

Its projects for Scalextric include design and development of a new Sport Digital System along with the development of historic Formula 1 cars, to scale.

Work completed for local inventors includes the development of a golf putting aid, a hand indicator light and a water heater for the innovative BiOrb fish tank.

Golf Putting Aid: The all-weather device is an accurate replica of a real golf hole, working without the usual ball-deflecting ramps or auto return devices. Playable from all directions, on flat or sloping surfaces, the golf putting aid is designed to hold up to four balls in the target area, enabling players to improve consistency and pace. It can also be used to create a mini course.

Hand Indicator Light: The automatically-activated hand indicator light is a simple road safety device which could help prevent thousands of cycling and horse riding accidents each year. Ultra-bright flashing orange LED lights, attached to the wrist, are activated as soon as a rider puts out their hand to indicate their intention to turn. The lights are supplied with wrist straps and can also be attached to gloves.

Water Heater for BiOrb: A breakaway from the traditional ‘test tube’ style tropical fish tank heaters, the Product Resolutions’ heater uses an advanced ceramic heating element to digitally control the temperature – creating the perfect environment for the occupants.

As well as undertaking design projects for clients, Product Resolutions also develops its own products in association with sister company Product Creations. Best selling items include an electric patio heater and the UK’s first hand held electronic Sudoku game.

The company was founded by Paul Robbins on his return from the Far East in 2000 and was initially based in London, relocating to Norwich four years ago. The company has a research & development base in Hong Kong, from where manufacturing projects are managed.

Robbins, twice named Hong Kong ‘Young Designer of the Year,’ said: "This is an exceptionally competitive market and it’s great that big brands recognise that there’s a massive pool of creative talent outside of London.

"Unlike many product design companies we focus on developing something that is commercially viable – it’s no good having something that looks great on paper if it can’t be manufactured at the right price and on time.

"It’s an approach that benefits small as well as large companies. It’s incredible how many good ideas local inventors have and it’s a real privilege to be able to help them bring their ideas to life."

Much of this inventive brilliance was on parade at a product showcase – Designed in Norfolk – held to celebrate Product Resolutions’ latest successes and the opening of its new design studios in Norwich.

Former Home Secretary Charles Clarke celebrated his own release from the strains of office by vetting products that ranged from toothbrushes to toys, games and garden accessories.

 

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