Tide device invention becomes a reality after lockdown Brighton beach trips

Gareth James was able to turn his idea into a commercial product thanks to the BRITE project in Brighton

During lockdown, Gareth James, from Brighton said he was so grateful to have access to the city’s sea and the beach – and it gave him the push he needed to develop an idea he had.

Now, thanks to a free initiative, Gareth is now the inventor of Tidey, a device that doubles as a light fixture and tide clock, allowing people to see on thousands of beaches when it’s high or low tide and the tide direction.

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Gareth, who is a marketer in his day job, said: “I’d had the idea in my mind for a couple of years. Like many people, I was so grateful to have access to the sea and the beach during the COVID lockdowns – swimming really helped all our health at that time.

Gareth James with his invention, Tidey

"It was during my conversations with swimmers, paddle boarders, surfers and the like that I was reminded that the tide is fickle, and you really need to know when’s the right time to go for a dip. That was the tipping point for me on my Tidey journey.”

Gareth applied to Product Foundry, a BRITE project made in collaboration between Plus X and the University of Brighton. Using the workshop facilities at the Plus X innovation hub, Gareth said he had all the tools at hand to turn the idea into something more commercially viable and sustainable, too.

Gareth said: “It’s been really exciting to see the amount of interest in the product, and from avenues I’d not originally anticipated. I’d tell anyone considering applying to Product Foundry to go for it! It’s an exciting journey to take an idea, through design, to something that really works.”

The BRITE project is encouraging businesses and innovators with a golden idea they want to make a reality or take to the next stage to apply to take part in Product Foundry, with deadline for applications in September. Find out more at www.briteinnovation.co.uk/product-foundry

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