GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A group of Hope College inventors has come up with a way to capture on camera the moment a couple becomes engaged — and the idea is taking off.
During a senior design class at Hope last year, a group of then-students had an idea: put a camera inside an engagement ring box to record proposals. The Ring Cam was born.
“You press the button and hold it for three seconds and it will start recording,” Scott Brandoniso, part of the team that invented the Ring Cam, explained as he pointed out the LED light that shows the camera is on. “Once you finish proposing, you press the button again it stops and saves it.”
The Ring Cam was so well-received at Hope that that the young engineers and inventors decided to test the entrepreneurial waters of Rick DeVos’ Start Garden, which offers grants to local business startups. Soon, the Ring Cam had its first significant investment of $5,000. That allowed for tests, tweaks and improvements.
Meanwhile, the group patented the Ring Cam concept early on.
“Before we did anything, we had the provisional patent set,” Brandoniso said. “We filed for the utilities, the trademarks.”
Then they started blogging and self-marketing.
In the past few weeks, the Ring Cam has been featured on CNN and Good Morning America. The team has also passed the first rounds of auditions for the hit TV startup show “Shark Tank.”
The national attention has caused Ring Cam sales to spike — so much so that they were on backorder as of Sunday. It sells for about $150 and can be bought online.
Brandoniso said the Ring Cam is about much more than getting rich.
“You’re recording one of the biggest milestones in their relationship, and they’re able to see that for years to come,” he said. “To know that you’re actually helping out with that is just an amazing feeling.”