Published in startup.ro, on October 22nd, 2021.
The equivalent of the Nobel Prize in industrial design – the Red Dot Luminary Award, was won by .lumen, the Romanian startup that creates innovative glasses that help the mobility of the blind, together with the design studio Desiro Vision.
Out of more than 4,000 entries, only 60 were chosen as Best of the Best, and of those, only one is awarded the Red Dot Luminary Award, “serving as an inspiration in industrial design”.
Among the five Red Dot Luminary nominees in 2021 were Unity – Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft, Cognixion One – wearable glasses for the speech impaired, Canoo – a multi-purpose delivery vehicle and sPEEK – a visualisation aid for surgeons. Previous Red Dot Luminary winners include Google Self-Driving Car – Google’s autonomous car, Lilium Jet – an electric-powered flying taxi and Robotic Prosthetic Knee – a motorised prosthetic knee.
Lumen is a Romanian startup that builds glasses that help the blind. There are 40 million visually impaired people worldwide and, despite all the technological advances, the most common solutions to their mobility problems have remained the white cane and the guide dog.
Unfortunately, due to multiple disadvantages, there are about 28,000 guide dogs per 40 million blind people worldwide. .lumen is building the first solution that replicates the main capabilities of a guide dog without the disadvantages that make it a non-scalable solution.
To achieve this, .lumen collaborated with Desiro Vision – a design studio based in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, specialising in research, design and product development. With a long history that began with a group of students sharing a passion for design, Desiro Vision is now a team of professional designers and visual artists constantly developing products that combine durability, sustainability and functionality.
“Design is not about how it looks, it’s about how it works. That’s a quote from Steve Jobs, whom I deeply respect. Winning this award shows the importance of the problem we are solving. It’s an honor to have our work appreciated at this level,” said Cornel Amariei – CEO and co-founder at .lumen.
“This award is proof that visionary spirit, passion for design and great collaboration in the right context can lead to great things.” , explained Prof. Dr. Ciprian Mihnea – Founder of DESIRO Vision and Director of the Design Department at the University of Art and Design Cluj-Napoca.
“The jury has chosen a clever design from the Red Dot: Best of the Best nominees for the much-desired Red Dot: Luminary. A design that could greatly improve the lives of 4050 million people. This design is of course incredible both ergonomically and engineering-wise. For us, the jury, it is a great honour to be able to contribute to the success of this idea, which helps millions of people with a certain disability by increasing their independence and quality of life,” said Wolfgang Meyer Hayoz, Red Dot Jury Member.
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