Asperger’s Phone wins Motorola design contest
Motorola’s MOTOFWRD competition challenged college students nationwide to depict the future of mobile technology.
Duke University student John Finan’s “mood phone” placed first among five hundred submissions. The phone, designed to interpret the mood of the person on the other end of the line, is meant to help individuals with Asperger’s syndrome who may have difficulty recognizing emotional and social cues in the speech of others.
“The ability to dream is one of youth’s greatest assets. MOTOFWRD allows the next generation of scientists, inventors and designers to show us their best,” said Motorola chief technology officer Padmasree Warrior.
“Most people don’t think of a gadget as a solution to Aspergers. But a truly new tool that makes people freer to move and communicate can change behavior, and that is how a revolution begins,” Finan said.
For his innovation, Finan was awarded $10,000, a Bluetooth enabled car, a suite of Motorola products and an apprenticeship with Motorola’s chief technology office.