WHEELING - As a 22-year-old senior at West Liberty University, Hugo Andreini III already owns his own business - and says he holds a U.S. patent for the Auranova necklace for hands-free cellphone use.
"We wanted our device to be flexible. We took the best jewelry and the best Bluetooth - and we put them together," said Andreini.
Andreini serves as co-owner of Too much Innovation LLC, along with Ayman Barakat. Andreini said many think of the Bluetooth as an unattractive device that is annoying to use, so he wanted to create something "beautiful" that women would enjoy wearing.
An example of Andreini’s new device, which can be worn around the neck, thus saving the wearer from having the typical Bluetooth earpiece.
"When we developed our necklace, we were thinking about the benefits it can offer society in all aspects. Driving safety is by far the most important," Andreini said.
With new West Virginia safety restrictions on mobile devices, hands-free accessories are becoming necessary to use cellphones when driving. Headsets leave women with few options, most of which interfere with their fashion and lifestyle.
Auranova is the result of rethinking Bluetooth headsets with strict fashion guidelines in mind, while removing the hassles other devices present.
This device was specifically designed into a necklace because it not only aids in fashion, but provides ease of use, convenience, and less weight on the ear. The product has interchangeable faceplates, including a launching model as well as an SW model with Swarovski Elements. Such flexibility allows the necklace to adapt to styles and trends over time.
Andreini said the device - currently available online - should cost customers anywhere from $120 to $200, depending upon styles and accessories.
"When we discuss this with people, they get really excited. It has gotten off to a really good start," he said.
Although the Auranova is designed with women in mind, Andreini said he is working on products that are geared toward use by men.
"We are also working on getting another patent," he added.