FCB Health Network's Area 23 for client Wavio, a San Francisco software company, took home the Grand Prix in Innovation at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for "See Sound," a home device that alerts people who are deaf or have hearing impairments to sounds like a baby crying or a fire alarm.
The device is powered by an AI-learning model (trained from the sound data of more than 2 million YouTube videos) and can detect 75 different sounds, according to agency Area 23.
Cheil Worldwide Global Creative Director Bill Yom, who led the jury, says innovation defined today can be "a huge and broad" category. What he told jury members to assess in the entries was technology, creativity, humanity and diversity and inclusion.
What really set "See Sound" apart from its competitors was not only the "amazing, simple and beautiful design," Yom says, but the collaborative nature of the people behind the product development. (He says the innovation category has a different judging process in that jurors see firsthand from the developers how the technologies work.)
"It was a full commitment that they worked together on this project since the beginning," Yom says. "It sends a message to the industry that you have to collaborate to create something for innovation. [This is the] way you have to [work] to create something outstanding for this award and help people."
Also, he adds, "you have to collaborate with people you've never worked with before" to understand what's truly missing and needed in technology, and not just "pretend to help people" with gimmicks but actually create products to improve lives.