The James Dyson Award 2023 Malaysia national winners have just been announced with a rather interesting array of winners, all of which showcase ingenuity, innovative thinking and are designed to help resolve pressing problems facing humanity at large, both big and small. Taking pride of place is a unique invention called Soapy that gamifies hand-washing for children to make it both a fun and educational experience.
James Dyson Award 2023 – Soapy and the importance of handwashing for kids explained
Created by Lim Zi Suen, a product design graduate from Universiti Sains Malaysia, the Soapy resembles classic UFO sized to the dimensions of a tennis ball with a colourful transparent protective outer casing and an inner core made of silicone rubber that vibrates and shakes for more effective cleaning while also dispensing soap by squeezing, hence the name. To ensure effective hand-washing for children, the Soapy has a 40-second timer paired with a built-in speaker and light powered by batteries to encourage children to adopt effective hand-washing habits for life.
Her inspiration to create the Soapy was during her time as a daycare teacher where she saw that children tended to wash their hands too quickly without proper guidance. After research and close collaboration with educators and children in a daycare centre, she came about with several prototypes before resulting in the present Soapy design.
With her RM26,500 winnings as winner of the national level of the James Dyson Award 2023 for Malaysia, she aims to expand her idea further. From here on, she will progress to the international level where she stands to win RM160,000 in prize money though things are as yet unannounced with the top 20 international winner shortlist being announced this upcoming 18th October and the winners on 15th November 2023. Last year, the SmartHEAL, Performer and Ivvy won the contest for the James Dyson Award 2022 internationals.
Next up, the runners up were the BraillePad which is a 3D printer tablet for the visually impaired where users can load and replace braille sheets for effective self learning.
Another runners up for the James Dyson Award 2023 Malaysia nationals was the Nomadic Seafaring Life concept where lighting and lifestyle needs are addressed sustainably with ideas to generate electricity for lamps and other items through low-cost structures in the water. For more on the James Dyson Award 2023, check out their official page at https://www.jamesdysonaward.org/en-MY/