In the tech sector, we can often get swept up in the latest gadgets, gizmos and other consumer devices. However, as intriguing as these products can be, the best technology is that which has the power to really change the world – or at least, a small corner of it.
So, in the spirit of the Talent Unleashed awards and its category dedicated to tech with social or community impact, we ask: what about technology with a conscience? What about inventions that serve to improve, inspire and enhance the lives of all of our planet’s inhabitants? After all, truly tremendous technology comes not in the form of a new smartphone or tablet, but rather in revolutionary and life-changing inventions.
A recent article by Techworld compiled a list of projects that are forging forward, doing social good and bit by bit, saving our planet. Here are a selection of our favourites.
Simple in principle and outstanding in execution, Dot is the world’s first Braille smartwatch. Using magnets and pins, the watch can, among other features, convey text messages, caller details and tell the time by displaying four Braille letters at a time.
Close to one million babies die each year due to being born prematurely. This is particularly a problem in the developing world where limited access to healthcare means that the incubators necessary to protect them often aren’t available. To combat this, MOM, a portable, inflatable and collapsible incubator, was created. Costing just £250 (in comparison to the usual £30,000), the incubators run on limited power like a car battery or solar power.
Essentially, a camera trap system, this tech protects wildlife from poachers by monitoring sites in Kenya and Antarctica via satellite.
Andiamo is a British company which uses its 3D scanning technology to quickly and affordably print orthotics (external braces for the spine or limbs) for young people. Its inspiring tech shortened manufacturing time from 13 weeks to one, earning it first place in the 2015 Talent Unleashed award for Best Start-up for Social or Community Impact (and not to mention, a place in the heart of children across the country).
Straight out of a sci-fi novel comes gravity light, a device that in just three seconds can generate light using the momentum of gravity.
HarassMap is an anti-street harassment mapping tool used by people in Egypt to anonymously report where they have been harassed or assaulted. The reports are displayed via a red dot that other users can view, get more details on and use to find safer routes. Similar technology is being deployed in other nations and while it does not get to the root cause of why sexual harassment and abuse is so prevalent across the globe, it does put the power back into the hands of potential victims.
Across the sector (and indeed, in most industries) we are beginning to see start-ups, organisations and technologists use their expertise to help the world. Don’t forget, if you or your organisation has achieved similar community impact you could be well in with a chance of winning this year’s award for the best socially minded start-up. Entries are open until August 31st and you can register by clicking here