This Is a Voice From the Deep--Over and Out

Ever wished you could talk while underwater and be heard as something other than a bunch of air bubbles? Water Talkies (underwater walkie-talkies) may be the answer, allowing for bottom-of-the-pool babble from distances of up to 50 feet.

Richie Stachowski, a 13-year-old inventor, first came up with the idea while snorkeling with his father in Hawaii. But it wasn't until he was home in Northern California and had begun tinkering with empty plastic juice bottles that he was able to successfully transform his idea into a workable product.

Constructed from plastic and rubber, Richie's creation converts underwater murmurings into discernible dialogue by projecting words through a plastic chamber. A watertight seal prevents users from gargling gallons of chlorine mouthwash.

Richie, who squeezed into his first wetsuit at age 2, has four other aquatic breakthroughs to his credit, including the Aqua Scope (an underwater periscope) and the Bumper Jumper Paddle Pumper (an inflatable seat and water gun).

Last year, the youth earned the National Gallery of Young Inventors' Entrepreneur of the Year award.

All of Richie's aquatic creations are owned and distributed by Wild Planet Toys and may be purchased at toy stores nationwide.

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