Bright idea wins See.Sense plaudits in SME awards

See.Sense founders Philip, and Irene  McAleese and Brian Ewart of BT
See.Sense founders Philip, and Irene McAleese and Brian Ewart of BT

A Newtownards firm which aims to use technology to make cycling and cities safer, smarter and more enjoyable has been crowned overall winner of the BT Infinity Lab SME Awards for 2016.

See.Sense won for its ICON intelligent and connected cycle light, which was judged to have the greatest potential to make a difference to the cities of the future in the Connected Cities themed event, run in partnership with the Cabinet Office, MK:Smart and TechHub.

The company walked away with £15,000 prize money plus six month’s membership of TechHub, a global community set up to help technological entrepreneurs and start-ups.

As well as being a market-leading cycle light that keeps cyclists safer on the road, ICON contains sensors which collect high-quality data about any crashes, near miss-events, road surfaces, light levels and more.

The information can then be used by city planners to create better cycling infrastructure and smart cities.

Possible uses for the data include identifying ‘hot spot’ areas where there are a high-frequency of ‘near-miss’ events and crashes, showing where the priority areas are to invest in cycling infrastructure.

The competition gave small to medium enterprises (SMEs) the chance to showcase their big ideas for innovative digital products and services to help cities become more connected, efficient and sustainable.

The awards were fiercely contested and, after much deliberation, See.Sense won the Smart City prize as well as being judged the overall winner. They will now have the opportunity to work with MK:Smart, in one of the country’s most advanced Smart Cities, to turn their dream into a reality.

Co-founder and chief marketing officer said: “We’re honoured to have won the Smart City prize and also be judged the overall winner given the high standard of entries we were up against. We’ve gained some valuable insights from the other companies who have taken part and the feedback we’ve had during the competition.”

“Having the opportunity to develop our idea into something that will really help transform cities of the future and make a real impact on society is really exciting. Working with Milton Keynes will also be a fantastic case study to showcase our capabilities.”