UTC Students’ Digital Products Impress Judges

Date: March 24th 2016

Last week, UTC@MediaCityUK students headed over to the studios of Magnetic North, an independent design studio based in Manchester who’s clients include the BBC, Google and the City of Manchester, to pitch their vision pieces on the future of digital. For the competition, the company asked students born the same year as mN was founded to create an idea that looked to the next 15 years in digital product and service design.

After some of the mN team visited the college back in December, the final groups were shortlisted from a selection of 20 + pitches. We chose four groups that delivered something original; whose ideas had the potential to be realised as digital products of the future.

For the final the students were asked to condense their presentations and deliver them in the form of an elevator pitch, lasting just three minutes. Within this time, the students explained their concepts and presented their vision pieces; leaving lots of time for questions. The design and technical team loved listening to all their ideas and were impressed by their delivery and fresh perspectives offered on the future of the digital industry.

The finalists’ ideas were:

Group 1: WATCHIO

Radio & Audio specialists Jack & Jack (that’s right) kicked off the pitches with WATCHIO – a smart watch that recommends songs tailored to suit your mood. Equipped with a Bluetooth ear piece, users can tell WATCHIO how they’re feeling, resulting in a radio channel that represents a genre most suitable.

Group 2: Digikitchen

In a nod towards trends around the Internet of Things, TV and Film students Ethan, Paige and Beth pitched Digikitchen – a digital app to manage all of your smart kitchen appliances in one place. The app connects to different items in your kitchen, allowing you to be notified on food you’re running low on, control the temperature of your oven etc.

Group 3: Givechester

Making great use of Manchester’s MiGuide screens, TV and Film students Katie, Jessica and Caitlyn pitched Givechester – an app to help the homeless. The donation app would allow the public to list available goods from their smartphone whilst those in need use interactive screens across the city centre to view the items up for donation. Only once registering a profile can the donor and recipient arrange a collection, which is recorded via the app to ensure a safe and smooth meet up.

Group 4: Digital Art Café

Graphics and Design student Henry introduced us to Digital Art Café. Shifting to physical spaces for digital tools and services, the idea of Digital Art Café is to provide a creative space for those developing new skills or working in the digital industry. The café would offer a range of digital classes, which visitors can take part in whilst sipping on their favourite cup of coffee.

After the students presented their pitches, the mN team huddled together to discuss who would be crowned winner of the competition. After a heated discussion, Katie, Jessica and Caitlyn were chosen for their Givechester idea. The judges felt that they offered something original yet realistic; and were inspired by their decision to use technology for social good.

After the competition a spokesperson for the company said: “We want to thank all of the students for their hard work and the finalists for coming into the studio to share their creativity with us. Here’s to the next 15 years of digital, it’s sure to be in safe hands with young talent like this.”

To read more about this story go to the Magnetic North website.

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