RedDot: Luminary finalists underline maturation of wearable tech

15 October, 2021

Later this month the winner of the prestigious Red Dot: Luminary award will be selected from a shortlist of five Red Dot: Best of the Best design concepts. Three of the five finalists are wearable technology solutions incorporating robotics, artificial intelligence or virtual reality. Here’s a snapshot of our co-finalists’ entries.

Sagentia Innovation’s voice-controlled surgical loupe headset, sPEEK, is in the running which is very exciting. However, win or lose, it’s wonderful to be in the company of some truly ground-breaking technologies and impressive designs.

Carl Hewett, our Design and Innovation Manager, says:

“It’s really interesting to see how wearables, especially headsets, are evolving to provide new solutions in the fields of healthcare and assistive technology. The fact that three of the five finalists are wearable devices underlines how this category is maturing.”

Here’s a brief summary of our co-finalists’ entries.

.lumen - Glasses for the Blind

This wearable assistive technology enables people who are blind to understand and navigate their environment without needing a cane or guide dog. It’s a headset incorporating sensory and feedback systems that communicate instructions to the user. 

According to its website, the .lumen glasses:

  • Understand the environment, objects, their position and movement in 3D
  • ​​​Compute interaction paths to wanted objects or generally, based on context
  • ​Transmit information to the user with haptic and auditory impulses.

.lumen was founded in 2020 and the glasses are expected to reach pre-production soon. More information is available at

Cognixion One

Wearable speech generating device Cognixion One is described as the world’s first brain computer interface (BCI) with augmented reality. It enables people with speech or language disabilities to communicate more easily.

A press statement from Cognixion describes the device as ‘a wearable window to the world’ that ‘reduces the lag between intention and outcome’:

“For too long, the assistive technology industry has relied on repurposed consumer electronics, often years behind the cutting edge of what is possible. At Cognixion, we believe that every individual deserves a solution as unique as they are – and that it’s possible to build one tool for communication, access, and everything else life brings their way.”

For more information on Cognixion One visit

Canoo’s Multi-Purpose Delivery Vehicle

The all-electric Multi-Purpose Delivery Vehicle (MPDV) developed by Canoo is geared towards the last-mile delivery and small business market. Based on Canoo’s proprietary electric platform, it’s designed to service a wide range of customers. In a press statement, Canoo’s Executive Chairman Tony Aquila said:

“We created our multi-purpose delivery vehicle from the inside out, with the ergonomics of the driver in mind and with attention to detail to help them be happier and more productive at work. The vehicle is affordable and offers greater cargo capacity than the current electric delivery offerings in its class. We aim to lower the total cost of ownership and increase return on investment for everyone from local small business owners to large fleets.”

You can find out more about the MPDV at

Virgin Galactic Spaceship Interior

The interior of VSS Unity, Virgin Galactic’s commercial spaceship, also made the shortlist.  

Seymourpowell helped Virgin Galactic with the design, from early vision to the definition of the final seat, cabin and revolutionary customer in-flight experience. A LinkedIn post from Seymourpowell says the brief required ‘an innovative approach to interior design, materials and Micro-G usability’ and ‘pushed us to redefine our own design process’. 

Read more about Seymourpowell’s involvement with VSS Unity at

Putting users first

According to Carl Hewett, while the finalists are diverse, they share a common commitment to Human Centred Design (HCD).

“All the finalists put user needs and experiences first. The technologies from .lumen and Cognixion are firmly rooted in addressing the needs of people who are blind or have speech and language disabilities whereas Seymourpowell has focused on enhancing the experience of space travellers. While Canoo is targeting a commercial audience, it describes the MPDV as a ‘people’s vehicle’ that enables individuals to conduct business. I don’t envy the judging panel having to pick a single winner from such high calibre design concepts.”

This year, Red Dot received 4,110 entries for its design concept category, with just 61 entrants receiving the Best of the Best award. The overall Red Dot: Luminary winner will be announced during a two day online award celebration of all the winners on 20-21 October.

You can find out more about the design process and the technology in Sagentia Innovation’s voice-controlled surgical loupe headset at a webinar on 28th October 4PM EDT (11AM BST) delivered by Carl Hewett and Daniel Hibbert who were both in the design team. The webinar will explore the value of a HCD process, and how getting those needs right, along with the value proposition, the product almost designs itself through thorough, validated, evidence based research. The webinar will discuss:

  • Uncovering latent needs to create value adding innovation
  • The application of human centred design to define technology enablement
  • Assessing the value proposition

Register here

Find out more about sPEEK.

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