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Conversational balance

Thanks to a special armband, people with limited hearing capacity could play a more active role in conversations. Now, a Portuguese research institute is helping children with visual impairment converse with their non-visually impaired counterparts. Key to the enterprise: a modified, commercially-available robotic toy. It moves between children as they speak and uses an in-built microphone to determine who...

Youthful insight

A headband can monitor hallucinations, while skin cancer can be detected by cell phone. What about the most common cause of heart disease and coronary artery aneurysms in 1-5 year-olds? Cue a 17-year-old female student from San Diego who has developed a new method for identifying Kawasaki Disease. Since the five symptoms - high fever, red tongue, body rash and...

Clean back-up

Inventive genius isn’t age-restricted. In recent times, school-age children have developed a lead filter for water taps, while this 23-year-old student created a new smog filter. Air quality is equally important for a 12-year-old English girl whose mother has asthma. She developed a rucksack which filters polluted air, incorporating an air filter and ventilators onto the front of her...

Audible recognition

A computer game is raising childrens’ awareness of diabetes. Now, using smartphones, a research team from Washington University has developed a low-cost hearing screening system especially suitable for infants. Microphone probes are connected to standard earphones and coupled with an app. Two different tones are sent into the ear at the same time. All being well, a third tone...

Literal connection

Technology skills can be acquired early through play. Now, with its new app, a Dutch startup is supporting an important area of education in schools. The goal: to make reading attractive for children and young people. Being able to read isn’t just important, it also promotes concentration, reduces stress, develops language skills and fosters our sense of imagination. Teachers...

Promoting perception

Given the right entertainment factor, people are happy to go without plastic bottles. Now, a Brazilian startup is helping children and young people on the autism spectrum to learn through play. Their app is based on specialist knowledge and uses the effect of visual perception, which, after all, is closely related to rational thinking and emotional intelligence. An association...

Realised reduction

Biodegradable jeans decompose fully within 6 months. And now, two parents from Oregon have developed baby shoes that dissolve in boiling water. Like these founders before them, their startup aims to reduce textile waste. The soft shoes are suitable for babies up to 1 year old, and are made from silk fabric coated with biodegradable plastic. Sturdy and machine-washable...

Hardwearing growth

Some car tyres adjust their diameter. Now a London-based shoe startup is working on kids’ sneakers that adjust by three or more half-sizes to keep up with fast growing feet. Sustainability is key for the female founder and her team, who are using organic cotton and pineapple leaf fibres for new shoes, as well as offering a recycling service...

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