Article

Utah Innovation Awards

Inventing a Better Tomorrow

Presented by Stoel Rives LLP & Utah Technology Council

April 8, 2013

 

MyCurrent by Overstock–Olabs

Taking a few minutes to browse the web can turn into a marathon session of checking Facebook, Twitter, favorite blogs and news sites—just to find the few nuggets that are of interest to you. MyCurrent by Overstock allows users to organize and navigate content from across multiple sites, all in a single feed that streams along the bottom of the computer screen.

Users select and filter the sources for their MyCurrent feed, which can pull from social networks, blogs and news sites. The MyCurrent desktop app then streams it in a ticker-tape format that can be paused or rewound, and it runs continuously while the user performs other tasks on the computer—much like a newscast ticker tape.

MyCurrent adapts to user preferences and habits and can suggest content that may appeal to a user based on previous choices. The company can also use the information to supply relevant product and purchase recommendations.

 

LumiBook by School Improvement Network

School Improvement Network says LumiBook “is what the ebook set out to be, but never became.” An interactive, cloud-based platform, LumiBook turns ebooks into dynamic, collaborative and ever-changing texts, unlike traditional platforms like Kindle or iBook, which simply convert ink to pixels.

Authors who publish on LumiBook can update their books with minor revisions or by adding entirely new sections. They can also incorporate video and audio clips, images, file downloads, links and slideshows. Readers can write notes, share their own content and discuss concepts with one another—and with the author—within the actual platform. A poll feature enables authors to gather real-time data from readers, and a webinar feature lets authors and readers come together to discuss the material.

Currently, LumiBook features education-based texts, but School Improvement Network anticipates the platform will eventually reach into many other sectors.

 

Honorable Mention:

Utah.Gov Master Index by The State Of Utah

 

Clean Technology & Energy Finalists

PK Clean

As Americans have sought out more convenience, the use of plastics has proliferated. Quickly used and discarded, only 7 percent of plastic waste in the United States is recycled. The rest is put into landfills and does not decompose.

PK Clean found a way to fight that problem by converting mixed plastic waste to oil. After shredding the plastic, the waste is fed into a reactor, combined with a proprietary catalyst and heated. After going through the reactor, the new product goes through a condenser, where it becomes 70 to 80 percent oil, 10 to 20 percent hydrocarbon gas and less than 5 percent ash.

PK Clean says its process is highly scalable and boasts quicker reaction times than other conversion processes. The company estimates that if the country’s annual landfilled plastic were converted to fuel, it could replace 25 percent of the annual U.S. auto consumption.

The Aggiebus  by Utah State University Commercial Enterprises

You would never know the AggieBus was breaking new ground without the bus wrap sporting a lightning bolt and text touting its zero emissions. Instead, the bus quietly drives into the future of electric vehicle technology with wireless energy transfer along the bus route.

Hunter Wu, Utah State University commercial product development director, knew the biggest problem with an electric bus was that it wouldn’t be able to drive all day on one night’s charge. By mounting pads on the underside of the bus and in the road at specific stops, Wu created a way to safely and efficiently transfer power through the air. “One of the dreams of any engineer is to build things that one day can go out in the world and revolutionize an industry,” says Wu.

The technology spawned a new company, WAVE, which is continuing commercialization efforts. AggieBus even traveled to New York, where it was featured on the Times Square Jumbotron.

 

Life Science : Medical Devices Finalists

E-Fix & E-Thotic by Fixes 4 Kids, Inc.

Elbow fractures are the second-most common type of bone breaks among children, but the method most often used by doctors to set broken bones—manually pulling on the patient’s arm to realign the bone—is relatively primitive. E-Fix and E-Thotic improve on that method and reduce trauma to children.

The E-Fix Supracondylar Fracture System is a mechanical jig that holds the child’s arm in place for pinning. The doctor can make fine positioning adjustments to align bones into proper pinning position. Traditionally, the doctor would use one hand to pull the child’s limb into place while applying pins with the other, but E-Fix leaves free both of the doctor’s hands to apply pins.

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