The 2015 Edison Award Winners for innovation were announced on April 23 at an event held at The Capitale in New York City.
Here are some of the prize-winning technologies that stood out:
In the Diagnostic/Detection Systems category, Unconstrained Biometric Identification by Carnegie Mellon University Biometrics Center was placed first. The novel technology can enhance and identify people from very low resolution footage that includes facial occlusions, even when not looking directly at the camera. The platform can acquire high resolution eye images from up to 12 meters away and identify people based solely on their iris patterns.
SCiO by Consumer Physics came third. The world’s first non-intrusive, no-touch, molecular sensor fits in the palm of your hand. It scans materials and relevant information is transferred directly to your smartphone.
HiBot Corporation’s THESBOT was the winner in the Navigation & Robotics category. The innovative snake-like robot developed for pipe inspection can autonomously climb vertical pipes and negotiate elbows, u-bends and T-joints in pipes as small as 3″. While acquiring real-time images, THESBOT may carry other specialized sensors, providing invaluable information for predictive plant maintenance.
DAQRI’s Smart Helmet stood first in Industrial Solutions category. The professional-grade hardhat uses 4D augmented reality technology to connect workers to their environments. The head-mounted display improves productivity, safety and efficiency by allowing work instructions to be seen through the helmet in the context of the job being done.
On Demand Packaging iQ Fusion 2 by Packsize International was honored with a second place. A transformational supply chain innovation, the machine produces the right-sized box for every product exactly when needed. This lean system intelligently manages corrugated material, increases packaging efficiencies, and improves sustainability.
Third placed guideWELD LIVE by Realityworks, Inc., provides welding guidance on welding techniques during live welding. Guidance occurs inside the helmet, allowing students to make immediate welding corrections.
In the Health, Safety & Emergency Response section, LDG Light Bulb by Parhelion Incorporated walked away with the gold. The laser-based light with passive cooling features combined blue light wavelength and a beam splitting optical component. It has the ability to shine through fire, smoke, fog and mist without the blinding fog. The light uses 1 watt, 38 Lumens, for 10,000 hours, reaching deep without loss of intensity.
Droplet by Droplet Robotics was placed third in Smart Agriculture section. The smart sprinkler system combines the latest technology in robotics, cloud computing and connected services to water plants in the most effective way. By leveraging a vast system of weather, soil and biological data, Droplet intelligently determines how best to water plants.
ORA-1 by Optinvent, the winner of Personal Computing & Connectivity, is a cutting edge Smart Glass that sets a new mobile computing paradigm. The patented technology enables unique hands-free consumer and professional mobile applications including augmented reality.
General Electric- Lighting’s LightGrid stole the show in Energy Management / Conservation section. This outdoor wireless control system enhances the efficiency and controllability of LED streetlights. It enables remote operation and monitoring of fixtures through a Web-enabled central management system. Offering such features as accurate energy metering, LightGrid provides municipalities with energy efficiency and low maintenance functionality that reduces costs.
Resource Management Or Renewable Resources runner-up Kiverdi, Inc., converts low-cost, abundant organic waste into high-value oils and chemicals at a fraction of the cost of current approaches.
Third placed Green Distillation Technologies Corporation Limited (GDTC) recovers up to 85% of the unused energy in an end-of-life tire in the form of carbon and oil without pre-processing and completely emission free.
BETAMATE by Dow Automotive came second in the Manufacturing category. BETAMATE 1630 is a uniquely toughened epoxy, one component crash durable adhesive (CDA) for use in automotive assembly to enable lightweight vehicle constructions by bonding multi-materials like aluminum to steel to help to significantly reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Hydrogen energy section winner, Intelligent Energy has created a portable hydrogen fuel cell power solution, Upp. Each Upp Cartridge, when connected to the Upp fuel cell, charges and powers most USB-compatible mobile electronic devices, for up to one week.
Hydrogen Super Emitter by Picasolar Inc. was place third in its category. It represents the largest single step efficiency improvement in solar since 1974. Atomic hydrogen is used to optimize the doping profile of silicon solar cells post manufacturing which results in up to 15% relative efficiency improvement while using 28% less silver grid lines.
Pratt & Whitney came first in Aviation sector thanks to their PurePower Geared Turbofan engine family. Arguably the most sustainable commercial jet engine developed to date, PurePower engine family will significantly reduce fuel use, carbon and other emissions, and aircraft noise.
Rockwell Collins’ MultiScan ThreatTrack was placed second. The novel weather radar delivers increased safety and efficiency to commercial aircrafts. Advanced capabilities go beyond hail and lightning prediction alerting pilots to cell threats and two turbulence levels. When thunderstorms grow ahead and below the aircraft, ThreatTrack’s Predictive Overflight feature warns the crew of cells in the flight path.
Automotive solution winner Bridgestone is developing the Next Generation of Tires from Guayule, a woody desert shrub native SW U.S. & Mexico, for use in various tire applications.
Runner up, TDG Company, has developed a novel vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication system, TheBikeShield, that sends acoustic warnings to car drivers when a bicycle or a motorcycle is around before the car driver can see it or hear it. Based on mobile technology and Low Energy Bluetooth, TheBikeShield is a Crash Avoidance technology accessible for everyone.
Image credits; Image 1: Pratt & Whitney/Optinvent; Image 2: Realityworks; Image 3: Droplet Robotics; Image 4: Intelligent Energy. Video credits: Video 1: cmubiometrics; Video 2: DAQRI