2008 James Dyson Awards
Monday, 7 April, 2008
Health-conscious toilets take on eco-friendly computers - who will take the 2008 James Dyson Award title?
New Zealand battles it out against engineering brainwaves from around the globe.
Keep your fingers crossed for New Zealander, Stephen Smith’s entry, Arctic Skin, to win this year’s James Dyson Award which concludes in New York on April 9th.
But competition will be tough; the Massey University design graduate is up against some first class problem solving finalists from all around the world:
• Australia: Powercleat: a safety device for sailors; this super simple invention prevents ropes from becoming tangled on deck. No more risk of man overboard.
• Austria: Ergoskin: If you’ve ever had back problems, you’ll know that posture is everything. And now there’s underwear to help you; Ergoskin works through sensors to correct bad posture. It’s aimed at physiotherapy patients but as back pain is the number one problem affecting workforces – it could benefit us all.
• Denmark: Caterpillar Scoop Stretcher: a cleverly-engineered stretcher with tank-like caterpillar tracks which can climb stairs. This means it only requires one paramedic to carry it.
• France: Getting Dressed when you are Old: the simplest task, getting dressed, can become awkward and even painful for elderly people. This range of clothing is designed with clever pleats and folds, to give independence to the elderly.
• Holland: Reef Explorer: a diving enthusiast who suffered from severe ear infections came up with this ingenious invention: a solar powered multi-hulled underwater vehicle. Glass sides mean non-divers; children, the elderly, disabled – can explore underwater life without getting wet.
• Ireland: Cultivate: instead of replacing your computer, or sending it off for a service – you can replace each part yourself. Components are each housed separately in a tree-shaped design – with the motherboard in the trunk. Designed for disassembly, each part can be replaced easily.
• Italy: Doccia Morbida: A shower head that fits your hand like a glove, therefore reducing the amount of water needed as the head can be brought closer to your body. Cleaning with a greener conscience.
• Japan: Health Management Toilet: You are what you eat! This device can tell you if your body is ticking over okay by analysing the smell, colour and consistency of your waste. The readings can be automatically sent to your doctor, so you don’t have to worry about the embarrassment of talking about…what can be a taboo subject, because the device does it for you.
• New Zealand: Arctic Skin: Athletes can now keep a cool head at all times with this cooling and hydrating vest even when they are at the peak of their training. With a squeeze of a rubber pump positioned near the shoulder, the athlete can redirect controlled amounts of the water into a radiator-like rubber vein system within the vest, laid across the athlete’s back.
• Spain: Hob-bie reduces the energy consumption in cooking by allowing sensors to detect the size and shape of saucepan and then calculating the exact amount of heat required. So there’s no wastage.
• Switzerland: Loc+: Your bike can now become more streamlined with the Loc+ - which combines a lock and light. So no need to worry about attaching a separate light to your bike or fiddling with a cumbersome chain lock.
• USA: Rake n Take: Clearing up leaves can be a real pain - most gardeners’ dread it.Â But Rake n Take is a gardening device that not only gathers the leaves but also picks them up as well. So no need to worry about gusts of wind blowing the leaves everywhere, as they can now be put into the bin straightaway.
Â “As our need for good design and technology increases so does the need for innovative and adventurous designers and engineers. The James Dyson Award encourages young designers to think differently. To create ideas which aren’t necessarily slick or stylish – but that solve an everyday problem”. Â James Dyson
The James Dyson Award winner will receive a cash prize of £5000, and £1000 for their lecturer, teacher or university. The commended prize winner receives £2000 cash and £500 for their university. All Award entrants will be featured on the James Dyson Foundation website: www.jamesdysonfoundationcom/jda
The James Dyson Award is supported by the James Dyson Foundation (JDF), a registered charity whose aim is to inspire and excite young people about design engineering. James Dyson is particularly passionate about Design and Technology - a subject that challenges young people to be creative, by using their hands and brains to create things that work. This year, 14 countries from around the globe put their local award winners forward to battle it out for the design accolade.