Student's ski boots walk off with first prize in Dyson design competition
A revolutionary new ski boot which promises to bring comfort to the ski slopes has beaten a number of quirky Irish inventions, including a self-sanitising door handle, to win the Irish James Dyson Award for Design.
Brian Byrne, a 23-year-old NCAD student from Dundrum, Co Dublin, has been announced as the winner of this year's competition and says he was inspired to create the Flip Ski Boot after years of enduring the discomfort of existing ski-boot models.
"I had skied all my life and I always had a problem with the ski boot. It was uncomfortable and impeded movement when walking on the mountains. My flip ski boot addresses these problems. You have more control and less pain. Also you can easily step out of the boot into a lighter boot for walking around "
While there may be wailing at the poor maths and science results in this year's Leaving Cert, Byrne faced stiff competition for the Irish title and the €2,000 prize fund; and a further 12 Irish student inventors have been shortlisted for the Global James Dyson Award.
Many of the inventions focused on solutions to problems in the health sector, including the 'Eve' childbirth furniture solution designed to support a range of positions during labour.
Byrne's invention will now compete with entries from 17 other countries in the international stage of the competition, which has a prize of €12,000 for the winning inventor, plus €12,000 for the design department of their college.
Dyson said "The award is an opportunity for new designers to demonstrate adventurous thinking and the ability to work meticulously around a problem."