Articles by Paul Scott
Roughly 25 percent of the global population needs glasses, but lacks access. The problem isn't cost: Affordable glasses are readily available in emerging markets. What's lacking are trained eye care specialists. The social startup PlenOptika is tackling that issue with a device called the QuickSee: a binocular-sized autorefractor that non-specialists can use to scan a patient’s eyes and produce an eyeglass prescription within seconds. Paul Scott, director of engineering for ASME, discusses the innovation, and the challenges and rewards of running a social hardware startup.
There are few resources to help “frugal technologies” and their makers succeed. That’s the problem that ISHOW, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' innovation showcase, tries to solve. The competition draws on ASME’s network of engineers, industrial designers, product specialists and diligence and standards experts, as well as venture capitalists and business specialists, all of whom are keen to see hardware innovation achieve a new level of positive impact.
There's nothing fast or easy about hardware innovation. Hardware is, well, hard. But a growing number of stakeholders in the development space see the importance of hardware-led social ventures and the impact they make in emerging markets, and they'll be especially interested in ASME's upcoming Innovation Showcase, a competition with events in in India, Kenya and the United States.