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BEEP Helps Kids Know When Time's Up

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Jason Lund

WWU Industrial Design major Justin Lund is winning design acclaim for BEEP, a timer designed to remind kids computer time is over.

BEEP, whose prototype won a Gold Award at this year’s Northwest Design Invitational, perches on the back of a laptop screen and plugs into its USB port. BEEP’s digital eyes are wide open at first. After 15 minutes, BEEP starts to get antsy, looking around the room and letting youngsters know they’re halfway through their computer time.

At 25 minutes, BEEP’s eyes start looking sleepy and at 30 minutes, he falls asleep – and so does the computer.

Lund got the idea for BEEP after joining his class in developing products for healthy computing for Allsop Inc. Negotiations over computer time with his 6-year-old daughter, Vega, also provided some inspiration, Lund says.

“Teaching children how to cope with change is very important,” he says. “And warning them when change is about to occur is one of the best tools parents and educators can use.”