Tech

Aussie design innovation: A Tape Measure for the visually impaired.

It’s always great seeing amazing ideas put into action by young and inspiring engineers.  This is something that is encouraged each year as part of the annual James Dyson Awards and we have an Aussie winner ready to take on the world.

I was asked to take part in the judging for the Australian finalists in the 2018 James Dyson award, and while there were some amazing ideas and innovation – this one stood out.

That’s the video that sold me on the idea – here’s an item that 285 million visually impaired people simply can’t use – a Tape Measure.

So four students at the Queensland University of Technology set out to solve that.  And they did.

The Macaron – their smart measuring device was created, and won the Australian leg of the James Dyson Award challenge and will now go on to take on the world.

It’s really quite simple.  A string or tape is pulled out of the Macaron, and shows on a screen the exact measurement, plus will “read out” the results and save all measurements to an app – meaning a user could measure a space, or item, then take those measurements to someone else who might then be able to complete the process of ordering items to fill it, or checking that the furniture planned for that spot will fit.

Classically simple thinking with brilliant execution.

Jake Dean from the Macaron team said, “People with little to no vision need to rely heavily on specialised measuring devices, but we hope that the Macaron will become the common and everyday household product that leads to a new way of measuring, recording and thinking. Our team is so excited to be recognised for this year’s James Dyson Award and can’t wait to see what the future holds for the device.”

Good luck on the world stage!

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Aussie design innovation: A Tape Measure for the visually impaired.
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