The Australian winner of the James Dyson 2018 Award is Macaron. It is a Bluetooth measurement device for those with visual impairment.
Queensland University of Technology students Jake Dean, Yuma Decaux, Woo Sung Jung and Weng Hou Chan, will share £2,000 (over $,3500 AUD) for the design project. They now go into the global Awards.
The three Australian judges: Tech Editor Trevor Long; Code Like a Girl Founder, Ally Watson; and QUT professor Sue Keay, reviewed over 25 entries across the country. The scope of the invention was impressive.
Macaron can take measurements without the need to read the markings.
Globally there are approximately 285 million people with visual impairment. They often face challenges with everyday tasks.
Macaron is a Bluetooth measuring device via an app on a smartphone.
The team hopes that the universal design of Macaron will benefit everyone, not just the blind.
Jake Dean from the Macaron team comments. “People with little to no vision use specialised measuring devices. We hope that Macaron will become the common and everyday household product. It is a new way of measuring, recording and thinking. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for the device.”
There were two Australian runners-up.
H2 Snow (Tim Lutton from RMIT University) and Indra Mosquito Zapper (Paul Eterovich from Swinburne University of Technology).
H2 Snow is the world’s first alpine survival tool. It converts snow into drinking water solely by human power. Inspiration came from a friend stranded for two days in the snow without water.
You should not eat snow without melting it first as it can cause dehydration and hypothermia. H2 Snow is a one-litre drink bottle that uses friction to create heat and pulverises it via a spinning blade.
Indra Mosquito Zapper is an insect control device made from recyclable materials. Inspiration came from Mosquito-borne diseases. These are a major public health problem in India, particularly to street vendors. Renewable wind and solar energy power the device to zap and kill mosquitoes. Surplus electricity can also power lights and devices via its USB port.
The James Dyson 2018 Award forms part of a wider commitment by Sir James Dyson