Jun 15, 2016 | Atlanta, GA
June 15, 2016, (Atlanta, GA). Students from the National University of Singapore, L'école de Design Nantes Atlantique and Georgia Tech have been awarded the top 3 places for best designs across categories in the first ever international design competition on technologies to support aging with disability. The TechSAge Design Competition was organized by the Research Engineering Rehabilitation Center on Technologies to Support Successful Aging with Disability (RERC TechSAge) at Georgia Tech and is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). Top designs from the competition followed a rigorous two-phase competition, in which a talented panel of experts in the field helped judge Phase I, and the RERC TechSAge board, who regularly contribute their expertise in areas of aging, disability, and technology to the center evaluated the Phase II designs. Researchers, staff and students on the TechSAge team also participated in judging the Phase II, with their scores combined for a people’s choice vote.
Under the direction of Associate Professor Claudia B. Rebola, the 2016 TechSAge Design Competition was launched in October 2015 and sought to inspire talented designers to develop innovative, technology-enabled design solutions for the aging population. In Phase II of the competition, semi-finalists were awarded $300 to further develop their prototype and test the concepts with older adults. Posters, videos, and details for each project were exhibited at the 2016 TechSAge Advisory Board Meeting ay Georgia Tech. The judging was based on the criteria of promoting independence, integration, implementation, inspiration, and progression through universal design. The following designs earned the top three places:
1st place- The top prize ($1500) was awarded to Dex, a smart footcare system designed to promote exercise and health management for people with diabetes. The Dex system features pressure sensitive shoe insoles that interact with a smart phone, enabling the user to monitor their foot pressure and play various exergames.
2nd place- CommuniTea, a connected scheduling board for older adults, was awarded second place ($1000). The peg board tablet offers a simple, connected way for people to plan meeting arrangements based on their activities, skills and interests.
3rd place- An airport wayfinding app for senior travelers, known as GatePal, took home third place ($500). Gatepal provides step-by-step instructions for users to successfully navigate the airport and complete key tasks, from checking in, locating their gate, and finding their luggage. GatePal is universally designed so that older adults with different functional abilities are able to use this app at their own pace and in their preferred way.
“We are extremely happy with the results of the competition’s first year,” said Dr. Rebola. “We had the participation of over 36 individuals, representing 14 international schools as well as business entities”. With its success and impact, the center is preparing for the second TechSAge Design Competition 2017, expected to launch in July of this year.