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Masterminds of the digital future

A raft of new ideas across mobile apps, virtual reality and artificial intelligence were unveiled by University of Sydney final year students at the D17 Graduation Show last week.

Up to 35 student projects using robotics, drones, apps, 3D modelling, interactive and wearable technology revealed the innovative thinking for digital products and services of the future.

The graduating students of the Bachelor of Design Computing and Master of Interaction Design and Electronics Arts programs at the University of Sydney are set to become the next masterminds of emerging digital and creative technologies.

“Interaction design has become ubiquitous and our lives are inextricably linked with a huge number of interactive products and services,” said Dr Kazjon Grace, Director of the Design Computing program at the Sydney School of Architecture and Planning.

“We strive to equip our graduates with the skills they need to design those digital experiences, both for today and for the future,” he said.
The final year projects provided ideas for tackling a range of everyday lifestyle and society needs and interests.  Several ideas appealed to emergency and health care services, supermarket and banking sector, child health and development, and recreational and cultural experiences.

Inventions included an interactive hopscotch with electronic tiles to motivate kids and develop motor and social skills; a wearable device and app for managing driver fatigue on long car trips; an interactive digital display that made music through human movement and dance; and a real-time mobile app using satellite imaging and drones to track and navigate bush fires during emergencies.”

“This year’s graduation show really highlighted how design can impact our lives both broadly and deeply,” said Dr Kazjon Grace.

Four industry awards were presented by WooliesX, Small Multiples, ThinkPlace and Bosco Lighting to standout projects. Recipients were EmCo (Emotion Communication), a product designed for children with autism to help them communicate feelings and emotions; an app, Happy Quest, educating kids how to manage screen time at home; Nurse Connect, a program to monitor the performance and welfare of nurses overseeing heart patients in intensive care; and an app called Commpanion that teaches kids the values of banking.

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