Cannes Lions

Students' Google Assistant for Kids and a Tricorder-esque Toothbrush Win Future Lions at Cannes

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A child-friendly version of Google Assistant, a website for CNN that lets viewers interact with election candidates and a smart toothbrush that detects disease were among the winners of this year's Future Lions contest at Cannes.

The awards, sponsored by AKQA, attracted entries from more than 2,100 students from 64 countries, making it the most successful year to date.

Google Assistant Kids, an idea by Min Young Park, Jisoo Hong and Ji Hoon Kim at the School of Visual Arts, recognizes that children love asking questions, but unfortunately, internet answers are often too complicated for them to understand. Google Assistant Kids is able to determine the age of a user by recognising their pitch and pronunciation, and will automatically simplify the answer, dependent upon the age identified, making it easier for a child to understand. It can be used on phones running Google's app or on Google Home devices.

Yeon Sang Yoon and Jin Sug Park, also at the School of Visual Arts, created Ask the Candidate for CNN to let users "interact" with political candidates about their views on issues. The site aggregates fact-checked articles, videos and voting histories of candidates, then deploys bots to represent the candidates. Users select a candidate and then initiate a video chat during which they can privately ask their politically related questions. They can also select multiple candidates to compare their stances on political issues simultaneously.

Another Future Lions winner, Medibrush for Kolibree by Gabriela van der Linden and Aleksandr Bobrov at Miami Ad School Europe, turns toothbrushing into an automatic two-minute medical check-up. Research has linked poor oral health to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even pregnancy complications, so to help people spot medical problems earlier, Medibrush identifies and classifies the bacteria in a user's mouth using a nanoscale biosensor and 3D imaging technology. The Kolibree app keeps track of the user's oral health, comparing bacterial analysis over time, and against a database of bacteria samples. When something changes in the user's oral health, the app sends a notification suggesting a visit to their doctor.

Stanley Hines Jr., Xia Du and Limah Taeb of VCU Brandcenter are the team behind BoseNeuro 35, a wireless headset featuring advanced EEG sensors that allows users to interact with their music. Combined with brainwave technology, the sensors purport to assess music preferences and personalize playlists by mood. Described as "the first step towards bio-personalisation of music," the BoseNeuro 35 headset can be paired with various music streaming platforms.

BeHeard, a smartphone app from Vocal ID, uses a smartphone's camera alongside technologies such as facial recognition and silent speech interface to give voice to those who are mute. It allows people without a voice to make calls, send voice messages or post audio on social media. Luis Camacho, Daniel Criado Zilch and Pablo Criado Martinez at Miami Ad School Madrid are behind the project.

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