Aspiring inventors all the way from China have entered an Edinburgh “Dragons Den” inspired event which over the years has become a magnet for global talent.
The annual Blackwood Design Awards attract both gifted amateurs and seasoned professionals to showcase innovations to change the lives of disabled people, and this year they have received an entry from almost 5,000 miles away.
China based company GlassOuse has entered its pioneering product, Assistive Device, which is made specifically to help those who cannot use a traditional mouse due to an inability to fully use their hands.
The ground-breaking product is worn comfortably on the head like a pair of glasses and connects to Android, Windows, Linux devices and Apple software (Mac) via Bluetooth Signal.
The headpiece has been designed for everyone, but more specifically, to help people who may have suffered traumatic injuries such as, brain bleeds and tumours, strokes, spinal damage and cerebral palsy and has left them needing additional support for everyday tasks.
Biven Chan, Sales Manager at GlassOuse, said: “Everyone at GlassOuse has worked extremely hard to perfect this product. Although the headpiece can be used by anyone we wanted to create something that would also make everyday tasks a lot easier for those who have suffered life changing injuries.
“The Blackwood Design Awards is something we have heard about for years and we’re delighted to finally be in position to be involved.
“Of course we would love to win but ultimately our goal is to raise awareness of our product and be able to help even more people living with disabilities.”
This year, the competition will be made up of two distinct categories – Best New Product and Best New Concept and is scheduled to take place on November at Blackwood’s offices at Dundee Street, Edinburgh and will see entrants pitch for the top prize.
Winners for both categories will receive invaluable backing from Blackwood to make their creative design into a working reality whilst the winner of the Best New Concept will also receive a cash prize of £2,000.
Colin Foskett, Head of Innovation at Blackwood, believes the competition is a perfect example of the Blackwood ethos, which aims to provide beneficial digital and technological improvements to vulnerable groups of people.
He 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.”
Blackwood has been a leading name for 40 years in the housing and care sector, operating all across Scotland and is renowned for its work in adapting properties to let people who are disabled, elderly or have sensory impairments, to live independently.
The competition is now open. For details on how to enter, visit: