Necessity is the mother of all invention.
And for Cork student Joel Olympio, a profound personal connection with ADHD sparked a journey that has earned him a coveted place on the prestigious top 20 James Dyson Award global shortlist.
The James Dyson Award provides a platform for young inventors to showcase their innovative ideas on a global stage and this year, Joel’s invention, Oasis, a wearable device, resembling a pair of glasses, that reduces visual disturbances, was one of the inventions to impress the judges most.
The young designer, who holds a product design degree from the University of Limerick, was motivated by his own late ADHD diagnosis and undertook extensive research and interviews to uncover the common experiences faced by people with ADHD and to ultimately find an innovative solution to this condition that transcends borders and affects millions of lives around the globe.
With Oasis, Joel, who hails from Togher, aimed to find a solution that would adapt to the environment rather than to the user.
“I learned about my ADHD when I was around 16 years old, which was relatively late,” said Joel.
“Upon receiving my diagnosis, many of the challenges I had faced throughout my whole life, such as learning difficulties and being constantly distracted, suddenly started to make sense.
“Oasis is a narrative of how I developed a product to aid individuals in concentrating within bustling settings and how this journey led to a deeper understanding of myself.”
So how does it work?
Oasis harnesses the power of cutting-edge electrochromic film technology to dim the user’s mid-to-far peripheral vision while maintaining a clear and focused main field of vision.
By selectively dimming the user’s peripheral vision, Oasis effectively reduces distracting visual stimuli in the user’s environment. Users can easily adjust the dimming level using the dimmer wheel, which modifies the voltage applied to the electrochromic film. When they need to reengage with their surroundings, a capacitive touch button allows them to turn off the dimming effect.
Looking ahead, Joel plans to source the necessary technology and continue refining Oasis. While it could be manufactured using injection moulding, further testing and development is required to ensure its functionality and effectiveness.
In the meantime, Oasis is now set to progress to the international stage of the James Dyson Award and the international winners will be announced on November 15th, 2023.