Design award for device intended to help the deaf


Peri SUTD Singapore

The 2017 James Dyson Award for Singapore has been granted to seven new graduates from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) for the device called Peri, which represents sound in the form of visual cues for deaf people.

The James Dyson Award, run by the James Dyson Foundation, is granted once a year to university-level students or recent graduates for product design, industrial design and engineering. The idea is simple: design something that solves a problem, reports The Straits Times, Singapore. The award is associated with a grant of USD 3,580.

This year’s award went to the SUTD students for their novel device Peri, that takes its name from the word “peripheral”. Peri consists of tri-color LEDs attached to the edges or sides of a pair of spectacle frames. The LEDs are connected to a credit card-sized computer with a microphone, and flash in different colors to identify the direction and intensity of specific sounds. Users can customize settings in an app to decide the colors and patterns triggered by sounds that are important to them, for instance an oncoming vehicle.

After several years of research talking to people with hearing loss, the team decided to design a device that would improve situational awareness. Team leader Pavithren V.S. Pakianathan, 26 years old, commented saying that: “We wanted to create a solution that is socially conscious. By working closely with a few individuals, we learnt more about the challenges they face and were able to incorporate the learnings to design a better prototype.”

Source: The Straits Times