Joel Olympio with his invention Oasis which won the James Dyson Award.

Cork graduate wins award for ADHD invention

Joel Olympio, a Cork native and product design graduate has won the prestigious Irish National James Dyson Award.

Joel’s personal connection to ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), due to his late diagnosis fuelled the project's inception. His winning invention, Oasis, provides a sanctuary of focus to combat the challenge of visual distractions with a specific focus on people diagnosed with ADHD.

Oasis, a wearable device resembling a pair of glasses, uses cutting-edge electrochromic film technology to subtly dim the user's mid-to-far peripheral vision. This helps to increase concentration by minimising potential distractions stemming from the immediate visual surroundings. Users can adjust the dimming level through a user-friendly dimmer wheel, while a touch button allows them to deactivate the dimming effect and re-engage with their environment as needed.

In Ireland, it is estimated that ADHD affects approximately 5% of the population, with diagnoses steadily increasing. While conventional methods for managing this disorder include behavioural therapy, medication, and personalised support, there is a growing demand for innovative solutions, like Oasis.

Expressing his delight at the win, Joel said: “I am thrilled to be named this year's winner. With Oasis, my aim was to design a tool rather than a mere disability aid. I hope that users will perceive this product as a superpower, a portable sanctuary they can carry with them anytime, anywhere.”

Barry Sheehan, Head of Design at TU Dublin School of Art and Design and a judge on the panel, expressed his admiration for Oasis, saying: “Oasis stands out in this year's design competition. It is genuinely a product for everyone, not just individuals with ADHD.”