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Everyday people help mankind, Toyota harness 'Ideas for Good'

The people have spoken. Toyota after hearing from voters in an online poll has selected five winners in its "Ideas for Good" initiative, which asked everyday people how they would use Toyota technologies outside of the automotive arena to make the world a better place.

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The ideas will be created by team members from Toyota, Carnegie Mellon University and Deeplocal experts this weekend in Pittsburgh at a "prototyping session."

Ideas for Good is intended to inspire everyday people to come up with previously unheard of uses for five of Toyota's technologies: Total HUman Model for Safety, Solar Powered Ventilation System, Hybrid Synergy Drive, Advanced Parking Guidance System and Touch Tracer Display.

More than 4,000 submissions were evaluated by judges who included Keith Grossman and Jake Ward of WIRED and Popular Science magazines, Josh Morenstein of fuseproject, Grace Hawthorne of Stanford and Joel Stitzel, Ph.D, of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. The public at large selected the five winners. They are, as described by Toyota in a statement:

Building a Better Bike Helmet, submitted by Stu S.: Inspired by T.H.U.M.S., this idea uses Toyota’s technology to assess the strengths and weaknesses of current bicycle helmets and improves upon these designs to protect riders from traumatic brain injuries.

Pure Air, submitted by Tim W.: Using the Solar Powered Ventilation System, this idea proposes a way to draw smoke from huts in developing nations, ultimately providing improved health conditions in an environmentally friendly way.

Power Plant Gym, submitted by Birken S.: This idea was inspired by Toyota HSD technology to convert the energy exerted at a gym into electricity. Connecting exercise equipment to a system of resistance cords and turbines, users would put electricity back into their local power grid simply by working out.

Automated Firefighting Extension Ladder Guidance System, submitted by Fran O.: This idea uses the Advanced Parking Guidance System to increase efficiency and precision in emergency situations, reduce risk and decrease the amount of time it takes to accurately position a firefighting ladder.

Touch Tracer Mouse, Keyboard & Monitor, submitted by David C.: By integrating Toyota’s Touch Tracer Display into a computer mouse, keyboard and monitor all in one place, this idea allows users to easily toggle between the mouse, keyboard and numerical pad while the heads-up display shows them exactly where their fingers are in relation to the keys.

“The caliber of submissions is impressive,” Bill Fay, group vice president of marketing for Toyota, said in a statement. “The winning ideas truly re-imagine existing Toyota technologies in ways that continue to improve quality of life and positively impact the communities in which they might be used. We look forward to bringing these ideas to fruition.”

Winners will get a choice of three Toyota vehicles — the Highlander Hybrid, Prius or Venza — and will collaborate in Pittsburgh with the team of engineers and designers this weekend.

You can reach's Hawke Fracassa at [email protected].

Image source: Wikipedia

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