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August 30, 2010

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Home » Metro » Education

Student designer recalls wearable electric fans

WHEN Fudan University student Fang Tianhao started selling wearable fans he invented to other students, he never thought he would have to recall the products after only a week due to reports of short circuits.

Fang's novel design, a miniature electric fan worn around the waist, has attracted the attention of several local newspapers. The fan, which he sells for 20 yuan (US$2.94), is powered by eight AA batteries.

Fang's troubles began over the weekend when a customer posted on the Internet that a short circuit in the device results in battery heating.

A picture posted by the customer shows severe damage to the batteries. The customer expressed concern that this could result in skin burns.

Fang said the problem may arise from shoddy welding.

"The device demands high-quality welding, or short circuits may occur," he said. "But as far as I'm concerned, the glitch won't result in bodily harm."

"All the promotional posters on campus have been replaced by recall notices," Fang said. "And I have published a statement on the Internet. People who have bought the fans can return them."

He told Shanghai Daily yesterday that he had sold 60 to 70 fans on Fudan's campus.

Each buyer will receive a full refund as well as a new model of the fan.

Fang said the recall may cost him about 2,000 yuan, but he believes the experience has taught him a valuable lesson.

"As a product designer, I have a responsibility to customers who are willing to buy my products," Fang said.


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