Image by Michael Cooper
Pictured (left) is Olive Hill, Invest NI, with Sam Sinclair, Modern Efficient Design (MED Ltd).
Bangor-based Modern Efficient Design (MED Ltd) has been assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to design and manufacture Padvu, a unique device for teachers using iPad tablet computers in the classroom.
MED, formed by teachers Sam Sinclair and John Titterington, developed a holder that enables teachers to use an iPad as a document camera or camcorder in the classroom.
The company received a range of assistance from Invest NI including design advice and an Innovation Voucher to enable a link up with the Northern Ireland Technology Centre at Queen’s University and to convert an initial concept into a commercial product that’s now being manufactured by Crossen Engineering in Ballygowan.
Olive Hill, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation and Technology Solutions, commenting on the development of Padvu, said: “This is an excellent example of how our technical teams can help businesses turn original and creative ideas into viable commercial products quickly and effectively.
“As part of our longstanding commitment to accelerate investment in innovation, companies, both large and small, new and established, are able to access a broad range of technical and practical support and also to tap into our expert network in areas such as protection of intellectual property, design and new product development.”
Mr Sinclair, a Business Studies teacher, said: “As teachers, we used an iPad extensively in the classroom but struggled to hold it steady over student work and experiments. So we set about finding a practical and cost-effective solution for us and other teachers.
“What Padvu does is to transform an iPad, now widely used in classrooms across Northern Ireland, into an overhead projector and convert it into a more effective teaching tool for sharing and celebrating exemplary student work.
“Padvu enables the teacher to photograph or video a student’s work or a demonstration with iPad and share with the class by means of a projector or interactive whiteboard. The image can also be uploaded wirelessly to the school network, Google Drive or Dropbox.”
Mr Titterington, a Technology teacher, added: “Padvu is the outcome of two years of research and testing. Invest NI helped us to get from initial concept to commercial reality through expert advice, its network of experienced contacts and initial funding.
“We considered having the device made in China. However, Invest NI helped us with design advice and to identify a suitable manufacturing partner in Northern Ireland. This assistance has enabled us to bring Padvu to market quickly and cost-effectively. As a result, Padvu is on sale now.”
MED was set up in 2012 by the two teachers who were keen to start up a small technology-led business.