WATCH: Laois student creates cutting-edge trophy for an international award in Berlin

Michelle Hogan


Michelle Hogan

WATCH: Laois student creates augmented realty trophy for energy award in Berlin

A design student from Laois has created a bespoke augmented reality (AR) trophy that was presented at an international start-up programme in Berlin last week.

The design by Diarmuid Farrell from Killeshin was presented to the winner of Free Electrons 2018, an international accelerator programme for start-ups in the clean-technology energy space.

Earlier this year, ESB challenged Irish design students to create an innovative trophy for the competition final.

Diarmuid – a third year student at the National College of Art and Design – created the trophy from one piece of folded sheet metal.

Diarmuid explained the concept of his design.

“The trophy is based on the idea of the big energy companies and small start-ups working together and using innovative new technologies to create clean energy. I feel the augmented reality aspect of the trophy reflects that innovation. I feel very privileged to be part of such an inspiring project. It's really amazing to see all of the work that the start-ups are doing in the area of sustainability,” he said.

The AR aspect works by using image targets which a phone can read and can project the digital elements in real time.

Irish start-up – GridWatch Mac – was selected as one of the final 15 global companies to participate in the programme. The Limerick-based electronics and software company provides smart data monitoring for energy utilities.

During the six month programme, GridWatch worked with the global utilities, including ESB, to refine and test their product with the potential to reach 73 million customers.

The winner of the programme - SOLshare from Bangladesh - also received $200,000 in prize money.

Jerry O’Sullivan, Deputy Chief Executive at ESB, congratulated Diarmuid and GridWatch.

“Innovation is at the very heart of what we do at ESB and we strive to explore and invest in creative ideas and people that will, in turn, benefit our customers. As a founding partner of the Free Electrons programme, we are excited and proud that Diarmuid’s inspiring design took centre stage at the event and his obvious talent was showcased. We congratulate GridWatch on being selected as a finalist, a marvellous achievement considering that more than 500 start-ups applied to participate in this programme.”