Trinity Raging Tigers
Our team comprises eight students from 5th - 7th grades at a middle school in NYC. We have a diverse background with people from American, Chinese, Korean, Indian, Muslim, Jewish and Christian descent. Members of our team can speak or have studied a total of six languages, including English, Spanish, Mandarin, French, Korean and Hebrew. We travel to school and weekend practices from as close by as a few blocks to as long as a four hour round trip train ride. We recently came in 2nd place at the Manhattan FLL qualifier and are headed to the NYC competition on March 9th. The FLL judges scored our invention very high. With that vote of confidence, we have decided to submit our invention to the Global Innovation Award competition and move towards commercializing it to help both seniors and others avoid potentially dangerous falls.
Brief Submission Description:
We developed our project from a meeting with seniors at a local community center. They expressed concern about being knocked over by people who walk and text since seniors have poor balance and are very susceptible to injury from falls. In a survey by textPlus, 65% of those polled admitted to texting while walking which confirmed our own research on the streets of NYC. According to NYC Dept of Aging, 24,000 emergency room visits and 18,000 hospitalizations occur annually among older adults in NYC. The US Centers for Disease Control states that falls cost $30 billion p.a. nationally. We learned from Skyping a wireless expert in England, found via LinkedIn, that today's phones have technologies that could help with our cause. That led to a lively discussion of ideas that resulted in Text-Stop, which will use a phone's accelerometer to cause its keyboard to freeze when a texter is walking. We did our own tests with accelerometers and were able to distinguish walking, validating our idea.