Congratulations to the Longitude Explorer Prize 2017 finalists

Written by
Zofia Jackiewicz
Longitude Explorer Prize finalists

When we launched the public vote to decide the focus of the Longitude Prize, many schools across the UK participated and held their own votes (since people under 18 couldn’t cast official votes). Young people’s interest in the prize sparked the idea of running a challenge prize just for them. The first Longitude Explorer Prize challenged young people to use satellite location data for social benefit. In January, we launched the second Longitude Explorer Prize, challenging young people to use the Internet of Things to improve the health and wellbeing of people in the UK. Here's a look at our 10 finalists...

From a bottle that monitors water intake to a wearable device helping to communicate emotions, the finalists of the second Longitude Explorer Prize have been announced. 

The second round of the prize launched in January 2017 and called for secondary school pupils aged 11-16 to develop innovative, practical solutions using the Internet of Things (IoT) to help improve the health and wellbeing of people in the UK. Areas of particular interest included childhood obesity, physical activity, mental health and pollution, but ideas could relate to any other health issues. 

Over 60 ideas from more than 220 young people were submitted for a chance to win £10,000. We’re pleased to report that this difficult and complex topic was well received by students and their schools. An anonymous survey showed half of entrants had never heard of the Internet of Things before entering the prize; we’re glad to have introduced them to the concept and to have inspired young people to think about how the IoT could be used to solve health issues. We’re pleased to report that 40 per cent of entrants were female students.

All entries were assessed against the judging criteria to determine which ones had the most potential and should be shortlisted to the final stage of the prize. The standard of all the ideas was exceptionally high, which made the process of selecting the finalists very difficult.

Final stage 

Over 40 young people across 10 teams will be now supported by IBM to turn their idea into reality. How? Each team will be allocated a mentor who will offer advice in technical and business areas. All students will also have access to IBM’s BlueMix and Watson, which will enable them to use cutting-edge cognitive computing tools and intelligent platforms that are able to think, understand and learn.

At the end of June 2017 all teams will be required to submit workbooks outlining further development of their products, including details on their market research or marketing plan. We’re looking forward to seeing what these young, talented entrepreneurs come up with!

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Longitude Explorer finalists and wish every future success for those who were not shortlisted on this occasion.

Longitude Explorer finalists

School: Southlands School - Cambian
Team: Octoptix
Their idea: An ASDE motion badge for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The badge changes colour depending on the emotions of its wearer, making communicating emotions easier, especially for those with autism.

School: Warwick School, Warwick
Team: We Fidget
Their idea: A stress ball that allows users to fidget with it. Using pressure sensors, collected data can be transferred via bluetooth to your phone or a computer to analyse when the most stressful moments happened. This will enable users to analyse what situations cause stress and how to prevent or manage this.

School: Ursuline Academy, Ilford
Team: Bright Day
Their idea: A wearable device that alerts people when someone is having a panic attack. When the notification has been sent, methods for calming down, such as breathing exercises, are displayed on the screen. Methods for helping the person are also displayed on the receiver watch or phone.

School: Churston Ferrers Grammar School, Devon
Team: Team Spaghetti
Their idea: The Home Sensor - sensors around the homes of older people to track their daily routine. If someone is acting out of the ordinary, a chosen person can be informed. The product aims to support people with dementia.

School: Harris Academy Bermondsey, London 
Team: H’n’B
Their idea: Honest - a water bottle that monitors water intake and will remind you if you need to drink more.

School: Littleover Community School, Derby
Team: Shelly
Their idea: Shelly’s Planner - an app for young people and their families, with recipes and exercises that can be done during cooking.

School: Ursuline Academy, Ilford
Team: PolluTech
Their idea: SeeO2 - a device connected to your phone that measures air quality. If it's poor, it will suggest an alternative healthier/cleaner route for you. It also encourages physical activity.

School: Warwick School, Warwick
Team: Lemontime
Their idea: Lemontime - an app which gives users rewards in mobile games for doing fitness and health-based activities.

School: Bodmin College, Cornwall
Team: G.L.A.T.
Their idea: Panic Attack Wristband - a band or a t-shirt that measures your body temperature and heart rate to detect panic attacks. It will then connect to devices at home to calm the wearer down eg, the stereo will begin playing soothing music.

School: Thomas Deacon Academy, Peterborough
Team: AuxiCras
Their idea: Panic+ - a button carried by students with mental health issues. When clicked it sends a direct signal to a teacher’s wristband, informing them that you need to leave the lesson or have a problem, giving them notice discreetly and allowing them to help you.

What happens next? 

The prize offers a first place award of £10,000 and two runner-up prizes of £1,000, all to be received by the schools that the teams attend. All finalists will be invited to attend the Longitude Explorer awards ceremony in July 2017 to showcase their project prototypes, with the winner being selected from those who publicly present. 

Find out more about the Longitude Explorer Prize and read about the induction event for finalists.  

This post was originally published on the Longitude Explorer Prize website. Read the original blog.