Vacuum-magnate James Dyson knows that a little competition can go a long way toward innovation. He recently awarded the design students behind an “Automist” home fire sprinkler with the top honor in his namesake design contest, a prize of $16,500 (along with another $16,500 for their university department). The project had to beat out 400 projects from 21 countries in four rounds of judging, with Dyson himself making the final decision.
Dyson also picked two runners up that represent similarly impressive accomplishments. A “Pressure Alert” system helps physicians safely insert a breathing tube into a patient’s airway, and a folding three-prong plug that provides more mobile recharging for laptop users. Get the low-down on the details of each project here.