In this time and age, it’s amazing to have so many opportunities for young aspirational people who wants to change the world for a better tomorrow and is up for a fight. What makes the whole thing astonishing is big brands who give the chance to let them think out of the box on what to do. That said, James Dyson Awards is a prestigious competition from the James Dyson Foundation that allows students from 27 countries to come up with ideas that stand out and these students will get to walk away with prize money up to 30,000 GBP. This is all possible, thanks to Sir James Dyson who is committed to demonstrate the power of engineers to change the world.

That said, the James Dyson Awards has taken its course in Malaysia and they have a winner and two runner ups who will be competing later this year, internationally with other participants to see who walks away with the prize pool with the most innovative invention there is. Before that, let’s look at the young generation in Malaysia that has made the headlines.

Kuno – Winner of the James Dyson Awards 2020 in Malaysia

The whole concept of Kuno is interesting, in fact if you are from a science background, you’d know this.

KUNO, invented by Kuan Weiking and Theodore Garvindeo Seah from the Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology, is a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to conventional refrigeration. It is designed to prolong the shelf life of consumables and perishables in hot and dry climates. The team drew inspiration from Labu Sayong, a traditional water pitcher molded from earth clay that can keep water cool naturally and effectively.

KUNO is made of a porous outer earth clay wall and adopts the use of evaporative cooling techniques; the evaporation of water draws heat away from the inner chamber and releases it through the porous clay. This natural phenomenon brings the temperature of the chamber down, cooling the food and keeping it fresh for an extended period.

Looking ahead, the team aims to collaborate with the local cottage clay industry to manufacture KUNO, and in the process support the industry’s efforts to diversify beyond the production of small souvenir items. They are also working towards partnering with pottery makers to launch KUNO commercially in selected regions.

Kuan Weiking, inventor of KUNO, said:

“As a product designer, it is important that we look to design solutions that tackle societal challenges or problems – solutions that are both practical and widely accessible. We are grateful to have been given this opportunity to showcase our invention and share our mission to make a positive impact to the environment and local communities.”

Runner Ups

Pebble

Pebble is a cool IoT tech because the way the team behind this project has done things, shows that they want to reduce food waste.

The solution: Pebble, invented by Chuah Ee Hua from Universiti Sains Malaysia, is an automated food tracking system aimed at reducing household food waste. With its in-built scanner, Pebble serves as a platform to automatically retrieve purchase data using existing Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Through push notifications from its mobile application that is synced with the scanner, users can keep track of food expiry dates effortlessly. With the APIS, recipes are generated automatically based on food items that are close to expiry. This helps users to plan their meals efficiently and prevent the needless disposal of forgotten food items that are past expiry.

Vibraille

Vibraille on the other hand, is to create the accessibility with privacy for users with visual impairment or blindness.

Solution: Vibraille enables blind communities to read digital materials using phones by sensing the vibration. It translates information into Braille, unlike mainstream approaches that use external devices or voice readers. This haptic approach to reading on a mobile device also means that Vibraille users can maintain their personal privacy.

What’s Next?

These three projects made by the Young Malaysians will now progress to the international stage of James Dyson Award, which also means that the competition is about to get tougher as they will be competing with other Young and Aspirational Students from various part of other countries. The International prizes will be announced on 19th November, so stay tuned for that.

Congratulations to all the winners and good luck too! 😊