A smartwatch app to support the elderly secures the top spot in the Longitude Explorer Prize

  • Hannah Picton

    Hannah Picton

    Assistant Programme Manager

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  • Seoana Sherry-Brennan

    Seoana Sherry-Brennan

    Digital Communications and Prize Engagement Officer

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17 Jul 2020

After a hectic final few months of the competition, the Longitude Explorer Prize came to a close in style with its first ever virtual awards ceremony taking place on Wednesday 15 July 2020. Hosted by Programme Manager Maddy Kavanagh and Science Rapper Jon Chase, the online event was a change for all the teams and those involved in this year’s challenge to reflect on what has been an epic edition of Longitude Explorer.

The judges had an incredibly tough time making the final decision, as they felt that all of the teams had produced work of an extremely high standard, particularly given the difficult circumstances of the last few months. But, a winner had to be chosen, and Team Iscort from Greenford High school were announced as securing the top prize of £25,000 for their school, with their idea…


Their solution, a smartwatch app operating as a personal assistant for the elderly and those suffering with memory loss, was chosen as the winner as the judges thought that the standard of research and detail put into the idea was extremely high. They described the work the team put into it as “outstanding”. Their teamwork was clearly demonstrated and showed how it was an issue close to the team’s heart.

Three teams were awarded a runners-up prize of £10,000 for their school or youth group. They were:

Ocu-helper – by Team iMedia 

A product which uses spatial and visual AI to support those with visual impairments navigate their surroundings. Ocu-helper was chosen a runner up by the judges as they felt this was a complex and big idea where the team had really delved into the research and design.

Freewheelers  – by Team ADOA

An app which will create more accessible routes, such as avoiding difficult terrains, gradients and steps, as well as obstacles, for those who may need them. Freewheelers was chosen as a runner up as this idea impressed the judges with its clear presentation and use of different applications of A.I. and data.

Ocean Cleanup – by Team Walton S-AI-lors

A fleet of AI catamaran ships which travel the oceans scooping up the plastic that pollutes the water surface. Ocean cleanup was also chosen as a runner up as the judges felt that the idea could have a significant impact on an important problem area and that the team worked excellently together.

A Longitude Explorer first

For the first time ever, the Longitude Explorer team and judges handed the decision-making power over to the public, with a People’s Choice Award. The public was given the opportunity to vote for their favourite idea out of all the finalist’s solutions, with teams advocating and campaigning for more votes from their friends, family and peers. We received over 13,000 votes overall – a whopping result which once again demonstrated the passion of the teams and their belief in their ideas.

The public crowned Theo The Therapy Dog by Team Gowerton SFT as their winner; an AI Therapy Dog to support children with autism. 

As well as the prestige of being our first ever People’s Choice Champion, Team Gowerton SFT have also won free places on the Adventures in AI course run by Fire Tech, the UK’s number one provider of tech courses for young people.

The future of Longitude Explorer

We hope that all the teams who took part enjoyed the experience and were able to take a lot away from it, despite the strange circumstances during the last part of the challenge! Although the Longitude Explorer team were disappointed not to be able to run their in-person events, they thoroughly enjoyed interacting with all of the teams all during numerous zoom workshops, and staying up-to-date with their progress via social media.

We’re busy formulating plans for the next edition of the Longitude Explorer Prize, so make sure to sign up to this newsletter for all the latest news, developments and announcements relating to Longitude Explorer.