A hands-free computer mouse and an in-flight wheelchair are two of the short-listed entries battling it out in a Dragons Den-inspired event to find the next rising star of design.
They are among the entries received in The Blackwood Design Competition, in which the overall winner will receive a cash prize and of £1,000 and business support from Edinburgh-based accessible housing and care specialist Blackwood to transform their creative design into a working reality.
The competition, which is now in its second year, was set up to discover and champion new and innovative ideas to improve living standards for those with physical or mental disabilities.
Last year’s winner, Kirubin Pillay, went on to achieve success with an eye-controlled wheelchair, which has since been exhibited in Zurich at The Cybathlon Competition.
He said: “I would definitely recommend the competition to anyone who has ideas that can help people with mental or physical disabilities.
“The opportunities are huge and you get to compare design ideas with other budding inventors – and see what they are working on, it’s a very creative atmosphere.”
According to Blackwood, which is a registered charity, this year’s entries have come from all over the globe, with competitors from as far away as Canada and Pakistan.
Head of innovation Colin Fosket said: “At Blackwood, our aim is to enable our customers and tenants to live their life to the full and by investing in future technologies and equipment we believe we are successfully able to do this.
“By supporting, and promoting, new design talent we aim to provide a platform for individuals to showcase their designs whilst also providing a helpful innovative technology to those with disabilities, the elderly and those with impairments.
“Some of the designs we have previously seen are revolutionary and have benefited the lives of many others, and the designs by this year’s four shortlisted finalists are no different.
“Many previous entrants have gone on to achieve great things so it is definitely a worthwhile opportunity for all budding designers out there.”
This year’s winner will be announced at the finale on November 20 at Blackwood’s Dundee Street office, where the four finalists will pitch for the top prize.
Foskett will be joined on the judging panel by David Reid, chair of Remap Scotland; Niall Ritchie, Lothian Phoenix Wheelchair Basketball Club player; David Keenan, inclusivity director at Neatebox, and some of Blackwood’s tenants, as well as members of the board.
The four competing entries are:
The S’up Spoon – a spoon to aid those with cerebral palsy, essential tremor and Parkinson’s, created by Grant Douglas.
KinesicMouse – a piece of software that allows hands-free control of a computer by using head rotation and facial expression, developed by Markus Pröll.
Peter Short’s POSTA – a concept for passengers with limited mobility to travel in and out of their seats on an aircraft.