Story by: Jeff Clark, The Sun Herald. Photos by MSU Public Affairs.
A 2012 Pascagoula High School student is literally lighting up the beverage world with her new invention.
Kaylie Mitchell, a senior graphic design student at Mississippi State University, is one half of the duo that created Glo, the first liquid activated lighted drink infuser.
“I had to do a project and I came up with the idea to have glowing tea bags that would illuminate when you pull the string to steep them,” Mitchell said. “But I kept working on it and I met my partner (Hagan Walker) who is an engineer and we came up with Glo.”
The concept of Glo is simple — once the device hits liquid, it lights up and goes through a cycle of five colors.
Mitchell said her invention has been popular with the bar crowd in Starkville.
“The product has been doing really well in Starkville,” she said. “It stops glowing when the drink is empty so it’s a way for bartenders and waitresses to know when someone’s drink is empty.”
Mitchell, who will graduate from MSU in December, said she has always looked at design in a functional sense.
“To me, there’s a lot more to design than people think and I try to approach design in a way to create things that have a function,” she said.
Although both of the Glo team members are in their early 20s, they are already making a name for themselves.
They received $10,000 from the MSU Entrepreneurship Center for their start-up. Glo is manufactured through their LLC, Vibe.
“We started making prototypes in a closet in an apartment,” Mitchell said.
Vibe has so far produced more than 10,000 Glo units.
Yes, it’s safe
One of the biggest stumbling blocks in getting a patent for the product, Mitchell said, was getting the product FDA-approved.
“There was so much red tape to go through with the FDA,” she said. “We even had to find someone who would insure us before we could get the patent.”
She said the Glo product is completely non-toxic and is manufactured according to strict FDA guidelines.
“We make our devices in an FDA-approved facility and it is perfectly safe to use,” Mitchell said.
The next step
Mitchell said they are developing a capsule that will provide flavorings into drinks.
“We’re looking at lemon and lime flavors because we have had people ask us about it because bartenders get tired of cutting fruit and it can be a health hazard to have cut fruit sitting out for hours,” she said.
And hopefully sometime in the near future, Mitchell said, the product will be available on the Coast.
“We would love to get in the bars on the Coast,” she said. “We had hoped to get Glo into Hangout Fest (at Gulf Shores, Ala.) this year, but we missed the deadline by a few days.”
Original article online at http://www.sunherald.com/news/local/counties/jackson-county/article89552722.html