Investors are pledging thousands of pounds to boost two inventions by 3D Design & Craft graduates.
Portable speakers made from thrown-away plastic bags and a ‘music memory box’ developed to help people with dementia are being backed by members of the public on the funding platform Kickstarter.
Both were invented at the University of Brighton by graduates who have gone on to launch innovative businesses.
Chloe Meineck came up with her memory box idea while studying 3D Design and Craft (BA(Hons) in 2014 and was inspired when visiting her great grandmother in a care home: “I remember her not knowing who I was but we would put on a song and she would sing and recount beautiful stories about people, times and places.”
Her award-winning memory box, described as “ingenious” by the Duke of Kent on a visit, is filled with meaningful objects, each with a stick-on sensor linked to a favourite song.
Chloe, who has received pledges of more than £3,000 towards her goal of £25,000 to refine her product, said: “The music, familiar objects and photographs combine together to help unlock and recall memories in a simple, tactile way.”
Chloe, who has launched a Princes Trust-supported company in Bristol, added: “We want to make the Music Memory Box accessible for families and care homes around the world.”
Almost £8,000 has been pledged towards a £45,000 target for Tom Meades’ portable Bluetooth speakers made from the flimsy plastic that traditionally is not suitable for recycling.
Tom, who graduated in 2017 with a 3D Design and Craft BA(Hons) degree, and partners Pawan Saunya and Rishi Gupta, launched Gomi.design from a studio in Western Road, Brighton, to turn “non-recyclable plastic waste that would otherwise end up in landfill, incinerated or dumped in the ocean into a functional and beautiful speakers”.
They collect flexible plastic from local businesses and beaches, melt it down, compress it and hand craft speakers, the “world’s first” of their kind.
Tom said: “Every speaker has its own unique colour style – and we use only sustainable material on the inside including 100% recycled denim for sound insulation.”
It takes 100 plastic bags to make one Gomi speaker which can be used both indoors and out. Tom said: “We realise that people’s greatest frustration with tech products today is running out of battery so we have incorporated a battery large enough to last 18 hours from one single charge.”
Tom, one of five University of Brighton ‘bright ideas’ contest winners, last year met Government business officials at 10 Downing Street and discussed his product. He wants to “revolutionise tech while rethinking waste” and, ultimately, to develop other products and to set up plastic collection points all over Brighton.