By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: A bicycle travel device, a ribbon ceiling fan and a wireless speaker unit are amongst the finalists for the 2010 James Dyson Award for student design at the Australian International Design Awards.

This award recognises the best new product designs, based on originality, usability and intelligence. According to the AIDA, Dyson believes that, “Technologies or designs that make products work significantly better than current offerings or work towards solving a problem better are paramount to this concept”.

This commitment is evidenced by Dyson’s continued support of the student award in this annual competition.

Three of the 13 finalists in this award are in the consumer electronics space, and thus could one day be on the shelves at the local Harvey Norman or The Good Guys store.

From Damien Azzopardi is the Tread Travel Recorder. This is a bicycle-mounted GPS travel recording device that is able to record information on what, where, when and how cyclists ride their bikes.

A reimagining of the ceiling fan, including the removal of blades (something James Dyson appreciates), has won Benjamin McMahon a nomination for his Ribbon Ceiling Fan.

“Ceiling fans are an inherently sustainable and affordable method of facilitating thermal comfort and a viable alternative to energy demanding Air Conditioners…yet there is very little deviation from the typical ‘three to four bladed axial ceiling fan’. The unique Ribbon blade provides such a difference, producing airflow equal to that of conventional ceiling fans,” wrote McMahon in his submission.

Completing the consumer electronics representation is ‘13th Man’ by Tim McBride.

“The 13th Man is a wireless speaker unit used in pubs to listen to televised sport. It offers the user the ability to tune into the game of their choice and control the volume of the commentary,” said McBride.

McBride, Azzopardi and McMahon are all students at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).

To find out more about this category, and to see images of these three finalists’ designs, click here.