Page last updated at 11:41 GMT, Monday, 30 June 2008 12:41 UK

Mobile fashion idea wins accolade

Nairn Academy's winning team (Pic: Ewen Weatherspoon)
Nairn Academy's winning team with their trophy

A device which enables mobile phones to read barcodes on clothes to check if the items will fit has won a school team a trip to America.

The Nairn Academy pupils' invention, Stitch, has an accompanying internet programme to show shoppers what they would look like in an outfit.

The team won top prize at the 2008 ICT Youth Challenge, which is run by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

They will visit Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston on the trip.

Jennifer Baird, 18, Laura Fairley and Callum Beddie, both 17, came up with the winning invention.

Interactive gravestones

The competition, which is open to young people, tries to encourage the development of new uses for technology. Inspired Ideas, from Lochaber, won the Microsoft-sponsored award for the project with the best commercial potential.

Their idea was an interactive gravestone to provide a more personalised and detailed experience for family members.

The prize is a visit to the software giant's headquarters in Seattle, where they will have the opportunity to pitch their idea to Microsoft's Scots-born vice president Bob McDowell.

Mini-Tek, from Wick, won the BT Scotland-sponsored category for the idea demonstrating the best use of communications.

Other finalists in the competition were The Bonnie Bois and Team Edge, both from Fortrose, and KeITh from Keith Grammar School.

John Mackenzie, business transformation manager at HIE, said: "Team members gain so much from the Youth Challenge.

"It really helps them mix with high powered business people and work closely as a team.

"The experience they gain in research and development, presentation skills and increased confidence is invaluable."

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