The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) introduced its 2017 Imagine Blue Awards, a programme championing the next-gen of IoT innovations that will shape the way we interact with our devices, each other, and the world around us.
The Imagine Blue Awards will highlight the work and imaginations of creators, developers, designers, and students using Bluetooth technology to push the boundaries of wireless connectivity and solve the world’s biggest challenges. Applicants to the Imagine Blue Awards may enter in one of two categories – Prototype or Student – with the chance to win cash prizes ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 to help take their inventions to market.
“Bluetooth is transforming our interactions with technology and the world around us, and the most innovative creators are using it to turn their dreams into reality faster than ever before," said Errett Kroeter, Vice President of marketing at the Bluetooth SIG. "These awards will showcase the amazing range of innovation that Bluetooth is unleashing from the creative innovators and students everywhere."
Bluetooth technology is, and will continue to be, the driving factor behind IoT expansion. With nearly three billion Bluetooth enabled devices shipped in 2015 alone and projected shipments to hit five billion in 2021, Bluetooth is the must-have wireless solution that creators use to develop state-of-the-art technology and experiences that consumers know and trust.
The Imagine Blue Awards will highlight these technological innovations, and provide winners with cash rewards in addition to the expertise and reach of an international trade organisation to bring their prototypes to market. A cash prize of $10,000 will be awarded to the prototype winner, and the student winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000. Prototype finalists will be invited to Bluetooth World 2017 to showcase their entry with industry influencers and high-profile companies.
Added Kroeter, “We are constantly evolving Bluetooth to create the simple, reliable, ‘unthinkably connected’ world consumers have been dreaming of. Our goal is for this awards programme to empower and inspire the forward thinkers of tomorrow. The winners of the Imagine Blue Awards will represent the best of what the IoT and wireless innovation can do to improve the way we work, play, and live.”
The Imagine Blue Awards programme is now open for submissions. It is open to anyone, but entries that use the Bluetooth brand must come from Bluetooth SIG members. A judging panel will identify five finalists in each category and one winner in each category. Entries will be judged on level of innovation; how developed the idea is; how the idea is solving a challenge or providing an added value; and the creator’s strategy for building, shipping, distributing, and turning their idea into a reality they can bring to market. Additional category-specific criteria includes:
Prototype entries – Entries can be featured on a crowdfunding site, but must not be shipping until after the conclusion of the programme (March 2017). Entrants will be required to send a company logo (if applicable); an image of the prototype; a 1-2-minute video featuring the entry at work and why it is better with Bluetooth; and a presentation describing the product, what value it brings, and how the entrant plans to market and distribute the prototype. Physical or working prototypes are encouraged.
Student entries – Entrants must be currently enrolled at an educational institution or university in order to submit in this category. Entrants will need a release form from a parent or guardian if under 18 years of age. Entries must be in prototype or conceptual project format. Entrants will be required to send an image of the product; a 1-2-minute video featuring the entry at work and why it is better with Bluetooth; a presentation describing the product and what value it brings; a headshot; and a letter of recommendation from a teacher or professor. Physical or working prototypes are encouraged.
Physical or working prototype entries must arrive at the judging location no later than 16th December 2016 and must include all usage instructions.
Winners and prizes
Finalists for both categories will be notified and announced in February 2017, and the winner in each category will be announced at the conclusion of Bluetooth World 2017. Prototype finalists will be invited to attend Bluetooth World with the potential to showcase their entry within the Bluetooth SIG booth. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to present their submission to the judging panel and Bluetooth World attendees during the event, and the winner will be presented with a $10,000 cash prize. Student finalists will have a blog posted about their entry on Bluetooth.com, and the winners will receive a $5,000 cash prize.