EyeCheck shortlisted for prestigious James Dyson award
Wednesday, October 29 2014 | 00 h 00 min | Awards
EyeCheck, a start-up founded by University of Waterloo students, made the final list of 20 entries for the James Dyson Award.
The James Dyson Award (named after the inventor of the Dyson bagless vacuum cleaner) is a design engineering award. The winning student or team receives $46,000, and their university receives $18,000.
Developed by Ashutosh Syal and Daxal Desai, two University of Waterloo systems design engineering grads, EyeCheck aims to bring inexpensive eye care to developing countries using a smartphone app developed for BlackBerry 10.
The app takes a picture of the person’s face, tells you whether the person is nearsighted or farsighted, and detects opacity in their eyes. You can then take a picture of the eye itself to provide a prescription, which must nonetheless be confirmed by an optometrist. This device reduces a 20-minute exam to about three minutes.
For now, the team is focussed on developing prototypes. Its members intend to conduct trials in “eye care camps” held in developing countries. “It is one thing to work with a charity here in Canada sitting over a cup of coffee, and something totally different talking to a volunteer on the ground in India,” said Ashutosh Syal.