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Three winning projects: The winners of the James Dyson Award announced.
Home Eye Pressure E-skin Sensor (HOPES). © National University of Singapore

The James Dyson Award is an international design prize that aims to celebrate, encourage and inspire the next generation of design engineers. The multi-stage competition is aimed at students in the field of product and industrial design and is announced by the James Dyson Foundation with the aim of inspiring young people for design engineering. The three winning projects of the James Dyson Award 2021 have just been announced on an international level.

The international winner is the Home Eye Pressure E-skin Sensor (HOPES), a wearable biomedical device developed by Kelu Yu, Si Li and David Lee of the National University of Singapore that measures intraocular pressure painlessly and inexpensively. Intraocular pressure is the only measure ophthalmologists use in cases of glaucoma. Regularly monitoring the fluctuations in pressure is crucial to treating the disease in the long term. Instead of relying solely on the standard measurement method reserved for clinical practice, HOPES allows patients to measure their intraocular pressure regularly and conveniently at home. To do this, the device features patent-pending sensor technology and artificial intelligence (AI). After creating a profile in the HOPES app, users only need to wear a glove with the sensor on the fingertip, press the start button on the smartwatch and press the fingertip on the centre of the eyelid until the message “test completed” is heard. Once the measurement has been taken, the intraocular pressure is displayed in real time on the smartwatch.

This year’s Sustainability Award goes to a plastic scanner developed by Jerry de Vos from TU Delft. This aims to drastically reduce plastic pollution by making the technology used in European sorting plants available everywhere. The low-cost, portable scanner shows on the spot what kind of plastic a product is made of. Not only does it remove a bottleneck in the recycling process, the scanner also makes advanced recycling technologies accessible to low- and middle-income countries, where most of the plastic that ends up in the oceans comes from. De Vos proposes to make the construction of his Plastic Scanner freely available on WikiFactory.com.

The inaugural Special Prize in the Medical category is won by Joseph Bentley of Loughborough University for a novel inflatable tamponade to stop bleeding in knife attacks.

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