We caught up with the inventors Yu Kelu, Li Si and David Lee to learn more about their reactions to the news.
Q: Looking back at your journey at the awards – did you think HOPES stood a chance of being the International Winner, and why?
A: We were unsure about whether we stood a chance, as the other submissions for the competition were also very polished and interesting. However, we tried our best to showcase HOPES and the inspiration behind, our design process, and the future we anticipated. We believe it was our strong motivation to solve the problem, and the novelty of our idea that distinguished our entry.
Q: How did you find out about the news, and how did you feel at that point?
A: We were told that we going to join a meeting with one of the judges for the competition and had no idea that Sir James Dyson would be in the meeting. When he joined the meeting, we genuinely still believed that it was a judging session, and that we needed to present our invention. Then he told us that we won, and we were very surprised!
Q: What was going through your mind as James Dyson appeared on camera?
A: We were truly thrilled when we saw Sir James Dyson on camera and thought it was a surprise judging session. We were excited to share about our invention with him, and to hear his thoughts about our invention.
Q: What do you plan to do with HOPES, as well as the prize money?
We will continue to collaborate with local hospitals to collect patients’ eye pressure data, and use them to develop our machine learning model. At the same time, we will improve the design and form factor of HOPES. All of the prize money will go towards further developing HOPES and our tele-health app interface. We are planning to add more user-friendly features like Bluetooth communication, which will enable us to transmit collected data from HOPES to paired devices for real-time viewing. We also hope to attract more funding to facilitate HOPES' commercialisation globally.
Meanwhile, Plastic Scanner took the title of Sustainability Winner, and REACT took the title of Medical Winner. Click here to learn more about their inventions.