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Students tackle faceblindness and memory loss

More designs here from our “Designing for the Future” student design competition.

Prosopagnosia device by Isobel Goodacre

Isobel Goodacre’s design aims to help people with prosopagnosia, which is commonly known as face-blindness. Prosopagnosia affects approximately 2.5% of the population and can result from stroke, traumatic brain injury, or certain neurodegenerative diseases and culminates in the total loss of facial recognition.

Isobel explains : “There is very little support available for those who suffer from this condition, with many feeling isolated as it can be socially crippling. My grandfather suffers from this condition, and using him as a case study I am proposing a mini HD camera that uses Biometric software to identify individuals and build up a database of ‘known faces’ matched with the corresponding names for future reference. In using such a device, those who suffer from this condition can discreetly ascertain to whom they are talking, or even if they know them or not, and thus aid social inclusion.

I believe my design proposal could not only help those who suffer from prosopagnosia, but also poor face processors and others suffering from similar memory disorders and could even be incorporated into home security. The solution functions both visually and audibly and can be used on its own or in conjunction with adapted spectacles whilst remaining discreet and user friendly”.

Forget Me Not reminder system by Poppy Wilson St James

Forget me Not by Poppy Wilson St James

Forget me Not by Poppy Wilson St James

Poppy’s design is a more light hearted take on memory loss.

Inspired by a family friend’s comment “I always know where my car keys are because I always put them in the same place, except when I don’t put them there”, Forget Me Not is designed to remind users to take their personal items with them when leaving the house. After conducting a survey, Poppy spotted that there is usually a “holy trinity” of three things people don’t want to leave home without – typically, keys, purse and mobile phone.

Poppy explains : “By attaching an RFID tag to your chosen  objects and installing a scanner near the exit of your home, Forget Me Not will notify you by beeping and flashing as you leave if any of your tagged objects are missing, meaning you’ll never forget your  phone or get locked out again”.

This is a simple technology driven solution to a common problem for many different people. It isn’t patronising or clinical, just a little nudge to ensure you have everything you need.