Campus: CSU Long Beach -- February 06, 2002

Cal State Long Beach Design Students Capture Several Awards, Including Grand Prize, for Product Designs in International Competition

Five students from the Design Program at California State University, Long Beach captured awards at every level in the product design category of the 2001 SADI Contest, including the grand prize of the international student design competition.

Sponsored by Korean electronics giant Samsung, the contest challenged design majors and students from design schools around the globe to propose a design before a panel of international judges. There were three submission categories: communication, fashion and product design.

After contestants submitted electronically scanned renderings and computer-generated models of their ideas, Cal State Long Beach students won one grand prize, one gold award, one silver award and two honorable mentions, all in the product design category.

"Normally, in an international competition, you don't get more than one award," noted Jose
Rivera-Chang, CSULB assistant professor of design who taught the course where the winning students designed their products. "So, obviously, I was very impressed that Cal State Long Beach won five awards in this one single competition."

Pat Huynh of Long Beach collected the grand prize for his "Track N Find" product, a device in which a parent can track his/her child at any given time. The product consists of two components-one is for the parent and is located on a wristwatch band and the other is located around the child's neck like a necklace. The parent component will have an LCD screen that displays an arrow that points toward and locates the missing child. Additionally, the parent component will have an option to set the child's wandering parameter or allow free range of movement.

"For example, in a fast-paced theme park environment, you may want to set a parameter of 10 yards to alert you when you child passes your set parameter," explained Huynh.

The child's neck component will have a single button that will act similarly to a panic button and will immediately alert the parent. It will also be equipped with a two-way transmitter so the child can hear the parent's voice to soothe fears, avoid panic and possibly deter abduction.
As the grand-prize winner, Huynh will participate in a 10-day, all-expenses paid European Design Excursion this summer. Organized to foster a better understanding of global design issues, the trip includes tours of design studios and showrooms as well as sights of art historical interest.

Matthew Harmon of Long Beach collected a gold award for his "Message in a Bottle" video postcard design. Using today's shift toward more personal electronics and disposability and focusing on tomorrow's traveler, Harmon created a bottle-shaped, audio-visual capturing device that works intuitively and can be mailed like a postcard.

The devise will be powered on when the "cork" or cap is removed and is reinforced by a start-up sound. A viewfinder is used to see what you are shooting, and a record and narrate button on the back is used to capture the images and sound. In order to review movie clips, the user has to tip it upright and back again. To fast forward, tilt to the right and to rewind, tip to the left.

"Since these bottles would succeed most if they were sold in packs, I devised a male/female mating system located in the eyepiece for transferring, or pouring, information from one bottle to another," noted Harmon. "Once a copy is made, the user can easily slip the device into a shipping envelope or a small box and send the live footage to anyone desired."

As a gold-award winner, Harmon received a digital camcorder from Samsung Electronics.

Trinh Nguyen of Westminster won a silver award in the product category for her "Gesture Phone" design. The glove-like device is a wearable phone for blind people, who are able to dial the numbers with hand gestures. As a silver-award winner, Nguyen received a $500 FUBU gift certificate.

The two honorable-mention honorees were Elaine Hill of Long Beach and Paul Ho of Sante Fe Springs. Hill's winning design was the "Kangoo Pouch," a communication device for expecting parents that conveys emotion through a tactile interface between the fetus, the mother and the father.

Ho's product was the "E-Personal Trainer," a sporty, wearable device like a radio headset that is programmed with all of the knowledge of a personal trainer. Designed for those who prefer to workout privately and on their own time schedule, the product will also help motivate during the workout with music.

The grand prizes in each category were won by students from schools in the United States, but, overall, award winners came from a variety of countries, including Austria, Canada, Columbia, England, Finland, Korea, Switzerland and Taiwan.

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