Finalists announced for BT’s Young Pioneer Award

The event aims to help address the UK’s pressing digital skills shortage

The finalists have been announced for BT’s Young Pioneer Award.

Like Vodafone’s Digital Creators’ Challenge, the competition is part of the telecommunications company’s attempts to address the UK’s pressing digital skills shortage.

“The pace of tech change is fundamentally reshaping our world,” said Andy Wales, BT’s chief digital impact and sustainability officer.

Freddie Howells’ Door Pi Plus

“Young people not only need to be ready for that but also actively designing the tech that will shape their future,” added Wales. “This year’s BT Young Pioneer finalists aim to improve the lives of those with disabilities to ensure nobody is left behind.”

Shortlisted entries include:

Be Seen Trendy (Tess Brady and Amy McMullan)
Based on Raspberry Pi, this device can read NFC labels attached to coat hangers, thereby aiding visually-impaired people to assemble outfits independently

Be Seen Trendy, designed by Tess Brady and Amy McMullan

Smart Stick (Mihika Sharma)
Another project bidding to help blind people live with greater independence, this ultrasonic sensory invention can detect obstacles in their path

Door Pi Plus (Freddie Howells)
Particularly useful for people with dementia, this system ensures only authorised ‘safe faces’ are allowed access to, or egress from, a property

Joshua Lowe’s Edublocks

Edublocks (Joshua Lowe)
Looking to increase accessibility to coding, Edublocks is a drag-and-drop tool designed to help young people with the Python 3programming language

Competition winners will be awarded £5,000 of tech to help upscale their project, together with an expert-led session to help develop their ideas. Finalists will also be given tickets to visit Bletchley Park.

Winners will be announced at the annual awards ceremony in London on 17th July 17.