What could you do in 152 days?
That’s how long the finalists of our Inclusive Technology Prize have left to prototype, user test and refine their products, and produce a business plan. Their diversity – we’ve got startups, businesses and charities developing a wide range of innovative assistive tech – means that doing all that translates as something a little different for each of our finalists.
At the end of those 152 days, our judging panel will compare the 10 products to decide who’ll be awarded £50,000 to help get their tech to market. The panel will make its decision using the Prize’s judging criteria looking at how innovative the product is, its impact and insight, the quality and safety of the tech, its growth potential and its affordability.
Our finalists have got a lot to do. In their recent blogs they gave us insights into how they got here, what they’re doing and what they have planned.
Active Hands are developing prototypes of their gripping devices for those with limb difference or those who need help with fine motor skills. User feedback is proving to be a key element of the development and prototyping process.
AzuleJoe are co-designing with users and making the most of the magic coding ingredient – volunteers – to develop their product. This will be an open source assistive communication technology that can run on any platform, from iPad to laptop to Kindle, without installation or complex setup.
Evolvable Walking Aid are focusing on putting together the project foundations and refining the design specification. They’ve been talking to walking aid users, occupational therapists and physiotherapists about their experiences with various walking aids to understand what they need the product to do. They’re developing a walker aid made up of a modular range of components which can be assembled to form different types of walking aids to provide users with the specific type of support they require.
Handyclix’s team is combining their experience of manufacturing and supplying safety belts as well as supporting those who use them, to finesse the design of their one-handed lap belt and focus-group the first prototypes.
Hearing Loop Listening App’s team have been recruiting volunteer testers to feedback on existing products and the challenges of using them in a retail environment. They’ve also been working on the specifications and user journey for their app which will allow people with mild to moderate hearing loss to tap into hearing loops via their smartphones.
How Do I?’s team are keeping things simple in the face of complexity. They’re using their combined experience developing apps and working with young people with learning disabilities to create an app that uses visual learning to support independent living.
Nimble’s first batch of prototypes have rolled off the production line. Now 160 units of the world’s first one-handed package opener are winging their way to testers across the UK, who’ll be putting them through their paces.
Open Bionics is taking a user-centered design approach to create life-changing 3D printed bionic hands. They’re prioritising design features based on user experience.
PlanHub’s team have been generating publicity for their platform as well as signing up their first NHS Trust. Their customisable platform allows disabled people to decide what information the system holds about them and uses Near Field Communication technology to control who can access it.
Supportspace’s team is building on four years of development to create a multi-platform application that connects Personal Care Budget recipients with support workers and the Social Services agency that administers funding.
Run by Nesta in partnership with Leonard Cheshire Disability and with support from the Department for Work and Pensions, Innovate UK, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, and Irwin Mitchell, the Inclusive Technology Prize is designed to champion the issue of assistive technology and encourage co-creation of assistive technology with disabled people.
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