Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2021

sPEEK nominated for Red Dot: Luminary

Sagentia Innovation: sPEEK from the Life Science category, has been nominated for this year’s highest achievement accorded at the Red Dot: Design Concept. The Red Dot: Luminary serves as an inspiration for designers to aspire towards. Designed by Sagentia Innovation from the United Kingdom, sPEEK is a voice controlled surgical loupe headset that empowers clinicians to deliver uninterrupted care in procedures through handsfree control of magnification and lighting optimisation. The design team at Sagentia Innovation shares more with Red Dot.

Tell us about the project sPEEK.

Conventionally, voice recognition is done on powerful, cloud-based servers. We've managed to take a low-cost microcontroller where we can have a select considered choice of commands and run edge processing locally on embedded microcontroller within the headset. This means we're not relying on any sort of wi-fi connection as we're processing all data locally. It also means that we are not transmitting sensitive data over the Wi-Fi or to a cloud server.

We knew that implementing voice recognition would be a challenge when we interviewed our health care professionals, the scale of the challenge became apparent. In the typical operating environment, you might have BP monitors, noisy suction lines, health care professionals conversing or in some cases shouting and even radio in the background. In terms of voice recognition, you have a very challenging environment to capture the user's commands and separate that from background noise and to deliver successful voice recognition.

Can you share with us any interesting knowledge that you have gained while developing this project

We understand the medical surgical environment and our research uncovered some of the stresses and strains that surgical teams are under. There's a high demand for cognition, dexterity, and robotically assisted tools that really improve the surgical environment with better visualisation, ergonomics, and fine motor control. What's interesting is that only 15% of surgeries are conducted by a robotic assisted surgery so we're very keen to explore the remaining 85% and that is what sPEEK addresses.

What is the role of design in projects like sPEEK?

We researched existing loupe technology, it was quite clear there were some issues with changing magnification levels, you need to either down the tools and adjust manually or ask the assistant nurse to assist. More advanced systems also have foot control, requiring different and cognitive load. In applying voice control technology, we completely alleviate the need to interact in any way and have very intuitive voice commands so that the surgeon can just focus purely on surgical flow.

What does being a nominee for the Red Dot: Luminary mean to sPEEK?

Developing the sPEEK product concept, we want the product to make a difference in clinical practise and be adopted by surgical teams. For us to be nominated for the Red Dot: Luminary award, being awarded the Red Dot: Best of the Best, really helps with the visibility of this product concept and really helps in demonstrating the value that this has to offer. So it’s fantastic for Sagentia Innovation to nominated for the Red Dot: Luminary.

Designers celebrate

.lumen – Glasses for the Blind by .lumen and DESIRO Vision has won Red Dot: Luminary 2021. All of the award-winning design concepts will be made available at www.red-dot.org on the same day. The Online Exhibition serves as a reference to the best in design and details descriptions of the work and information on the designers.

Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2022 is open for submissions.

Submission Dates:

  • Early submission: 2 January – 8 February
  • Standard submission: 9 February – 23 March
  • Late submission: 24 March – 18 May

For further information, visit: www.red-dot.org/design-concept

Register and submit at dc.red-dot.sg