Discovery & Youth

Published on October 24, 2017

At the Quality of Life Conference, some 40 innovative companies presented ingenious solutions for radically improving life during its three key stages: youth, adulthood and seniorhood. These exciting, life-transforming creations use cutting-edge technology and inventive ideas to help people of all ages connect, share, learn, save time and simply enjoy life more.

Bridging the Gap with New Technology for Youth and Beyond

Remarkable inventions designed to help young children were showcased at the Quality of Life Conference. They included a wearable device that makes the invisible audible for the visually impaired and an interactive robot to help autistic children learn and play.

Autistic children are often described as living in a world of their own, so CEO Ladislas de Toldi and his team came up with the spherical design for Leka, a robot that is both educational tool and toy.

An iPad is used to issue instructions; Leka responds to movement orders, and is programmed with learning applications such as color, image and text recognition. New applications are constantly being developed.

Results are tracked so that parents and caregivers can see how the child is progressing.

After hearing about the difficulties faced by the visually impaired, CEO Severio Murgia began developing Horus, a device that can translate text, faces and objects into an audio commentary using a headset.

Rather than trying to adapt the physical environment to their needswe set out to make something that could bridge the gap, said Murgia. The tool also helps the visually impaired perform more complex tasks at work, improving employment opportunities.

Capturing Feedback

A picture is worth a thousand words could be the catchphrase for the creators of Sodexo's Captured, an application that uses digital cameras to help tell the story in customer satisfaction surveys. Captured uses digital cameras to gather feedback, so customers can express what they are thinking, feeling and doing as they use a product or service.

The feedback pictures show immediately what the end-users/customers are trying to articulate in the written surveys. They can also reveal telling details, such as the eye-level at which a child views the world, which can be used to improve products and services.

The power lies in the focus group where the feedback is examined and interpreted, said Brian Finn, a senior director at Sodexo who came up with the idea for Captured. “The things that we learned astounded us,” he said.

Growing the Market

Fresh food is the preferred choice of many, and Agripolis aims to deliver it fresher than most by creating urban farms. Rooftops and other unused space such as schools can be turned over to produce organic fruit and vegetables on simple-to-assemble growing frames.

The harvest is then delivered to local companies and supermarkets with little or no transport cost involved. The system uses no pesticides.

The system is also very resistant to pollution, said CEO Pascal Hardy. Water and nutrients are delivered to plant roots in a closed system. “They never come into contact with the atmosphere,” he said. “It is better than open-field agriculture.”

Agripolis currently runs urban farms on four sites in Paris, supplying a hotel, company HQ, hypermarket and housing development. The company has plans to expand abroad and develop greenhouses to allow all-year-round production.