WATSONVILLE—The spark for Kristopher Neil Bayog’s award-winning invention occurred when his grandmother—who suffered from dementia—got briefly separated from the family at a crowded graduation ceremony.
The Bradley Elementary School third-grader’s idea was cemented when he saw his father locate his car using the remote key fob, which honked the horn.
If his grandmother had such a device, he mused, the family would have been able to quickly find her.
That was the inspiration for “D Shoes,” a device that is implanted in a shoe and plays a loud alarm, which is triggered remotely. The “D,” he says, comes from both the doorbell that currently makes up the device’s circuitry and the detective work implied from finding a missing person.
Kristopher took home the top prize during the local Invention Convention in Santa Cruz County. His device was among 500 entered at the state-level competition which, while he didn’t win, earned him a spot in the National Invention Convention on June 3 at Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Mich.
There, he earned a spot at the Invention Convention Worldwide.
He is now preparing to present his invention at that event, set for Aug. 12 in the same location, where he is one of just five from California and 30 from the U.S. who will pit their creations against those of children across the globe.
“I was so happy and excited,” he said of his achievements.
A quiet, modest boy, Kristopher says he enjoys playing outside with his brother, and has several video games on rotation.
But he is not done inventing. He is mulling a device that converts ocean water into drinkable water, and one that uses the water-storing capabilities of tropical plants to create reusable water bottles.
Kristopher lives with his family in Watsonville, where they are considering seeking a patent for the D Shoes.
Pajaro Valley Unified School District Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez called Kristopher’s success “inspirational.”
“His potentially life-saving creation is thoughtful,” she said. “It is important to share it with the world. I am proud of our staff who daily support a safe and engaging learning environment where students like Kristopher can innovate and have supportive opportunities to be curious and explore their interests.”
To see Kristopher’s presentation, visit youtu.be/Bh66HrmrnE0.