The National Award for Innovation 'COTEC Award' was awarded this year to the multidisciplinary and strategic design studio Design Group Italia, which conceived and created the 'KitMe' system for the startup IntendiMe.
What is the 'Prize of Prizes'
The recognition - National Award for Innovation 'Premio dei Premi' - is awarded annually to subjects operating in industry, design, the tertiary sector, the PA and universities and who have distinguished themselves for originality and the innovative rate of proposals for products, processes and business models.
The Design Group Italia studio, in fact, with KitMe has developed a physical and digital ecosystem which, thanks to an advanced complementary work of a smartwatch, three sensors and an interconnected app, helps people with deafness lead a less isolated life, giving them empowerment and autonomy.
How KitMe works
How to facilitate the life of a person who has no way of hearing the sounds of the outside world?
Starting from this question Design Group Italia and IntendiMe have created a simple, intuitive and reliable technology that associates in real time the sound warnings (such as a doorbell, an intercom, a warning of any household appliance, but also an alarm) to a type of vibration set by the user.
Thus the sensors detect noises and notify them on the KitMe smartwatch by means of a vibration, a light signal or text message that immediately identifies the sound source.
The IntendiMe app in particular plays a fundamental role: it is the one that puts smartwatch and sensors into communication and it is through it that you can customize the functions, such as the intensity or type of signal desired, of the KitMe.
Similar instruments have been created previously, but most of the solutions of this type have always relied solely on communication visual: an audible warning corresponded to a light signal.
Although useful, some limits have been found that KitMe overcomes, innovating the sector with a positive proposal that aims to break down barriers and thus eliminate diversity.
With regard to the warning lights used up to now as the only source of alert, it has been highlighted, for example, that if you are in a very bright room or outdoors, it will be difficult to see the signal in the best way or even you can lose.
Innovating by networking
The design of KitMe required a specific collaboration between professionals and specialists to which Design Group Italia has been accustomed for years: the studio, in fact, founded in 1968, uses a holistic design method.
The KitMe system therefore makes use of the technological, design, but also real-life expertise of partners such as Daos Group (electronics and firmware) and Terenzi (molds and production) and of really deaf people who have exposed and illustrated the major problems encountered in everyday life.