Meet the maker team who won the 100.000 euro prize at Maker Faire Rome 2016 and discover a project that could change the life of millions of people all around the world.
This year’s edition of Maker Faire Rome featured quite an innovation: projects submitted trough the Call for Makers and selected to exhibit, were also elegible for the R.OM.E Prize (*R.o.m.e stands for Rome Outstanding Maker of Europe): a 100. 000 euro award to the “best maker project with the highest social impact”.
A jury composed of 3 outstanding members, such as prof. Neil Gershenfeld from M.I.T, Bruce Sterling – author and futurologist, and Simona Maschi from C.I.I.D. – Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, shortlisted 10 finalist among which the winner was going to be picked and announced at Maker Faire Rome 2016.
The evaluation criteria followed two parameters:
- the social impact of the proposed idea (read: the one having the most widespread and effective impact on the greatest number of people)
- the economic sustainability of the project (read: possibility of affirming and developing itself on the market).
And the winner is… ?
Winner was announced on saturday October 15, on day 2 of Maker Faire Rome 2016, after an extremely exciting pitch session.
Talking Hands by LIMIX Srl is a device that could dramatically increase the quality of life of deaf people, who are often exluded from social life due to their disability.
Talking Hands is a glove that can translate the sign language in voice. It records the hand movements, translates them and transfers signal to a smartphone, where signals are processed by a synthesizer and whose speakers amplify the “voice”. Eventually signs can be understood by anyone!
LIMIX Srl is a young and dynamic Italian startup founded in March 2015, with headquarters in Camerino, Marche. LIMIX – a spin off of the local university – was born out of the strong desire to bring research and expertise from the Academia environment to the market, to create innovative industrial projects. The founders are two young students, Francesco Pezzuoli and Dario Corona. They enjoy the support and the mentorship of professors Fabio Giannoni, Letizia Corradini, Roberto Giambò, Simonetta Boria, and “industrial guidance” by Eta Srl and EOS Spa, italian well-established companies. The project was born in 2014 and the idea of making it a startup become reality after winning a Startup Weekend of Ascoli Piceno in October 2014. Some contests/awards – Business Plan Competition, StartCup Marche 2015 and ECapital 2015 – and some investors after, “Talking Hands ” is now in an advanced prototyping phases, and is moving fast toward an industrial product.
LIMIX is also relying on several partnership – with NuovoStudioDesign, Measure3D, Acmelab – to make the wearable device the “ultimate” one and be ready to launch it on the italian market soon. At present time, LIMIX is actively seeking additional support, in funding and in kind, to speed up this process and make Talking Hands available to all deaf people who need it.
Curious to find out how Talking Hands works? Take a look: