Dual Engineering winners in the Google Impact Challenge

Two projects involving teams from Engineering Science are winners of the 2014 Google Impact Challenge, and will each receive £500,000.

Both the Smart Glasses project and the project to develop wearable sensors to track disease-carrying mosquitoes won the top prize of £500,000 in the 2014 Google Impact Challenge. The Smart Glasses project was also awarded the 'People's Choice' receiving more public votes than any other of the 10 finalists.

smart glassesIn the Smart Glasses project the Department of Engineering Science is working in partnership the Royal National Institute of Blind People and the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at Oxford University. Over the next year Professor Philip Torr and his team, together with Dr Stephen Hicks from the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, will use the money towards developing technology to help the sight of millions of people with sight defects using computer vision and augmented reality. The prototype has already enabled users to identify faces and obstacles more clearly than they have seen for years.

WristbandIn the Wearable Sensors project Professor Steve Roberts and his research team, in partnership with Kew Gardens, the Malaria Atlas Project at Oxford University and the Eijkman Oxford Clinical Research Unit in Indonesia, will work to create a smartphone app and a range of wearable acoustic detectors to detect the sound of mosquitoes. The group will then equip villagers in rural Indonesia with the novel technology and the data thereby captured will be invaluable in modelling the movement and lifecycle of deadly malaria-bearing mosquitoes.

The Google Impact Challenge is a UK competition which aims to support non-profit organisations 'using technology to tackle problems and transform lives around the world'. It is run by Google.org – the part of the tech company which provides grants and support to non-profits – with support from NESTA, the UK innovation charity.

For more information on both projects please see: