Sometimes seemingly simple inventions can make the most impact. A team of MIT undergrads proved this with their 6dot Braille Labeler, a label maker for the blind that replaces current error-prone, clunky systems with an intuitive and reliable design. The instrument is a lifesaver for individuals who rely on Braille to differentiate among pill bottles, for example, or CDs or paperwork. The device won the nation’s People’s Choice Award from a public vote in the James Dyson Award competition.

The contest encourages and inspires the next generation of design engineers from 21 countries with a simple challenge: design something that solves a problem. Watch the labeler in action below and learn more about the product.

The team, supported by Course 6 Senior Lecturer Christopher Terman SM ’78, EE ’78, PhD ’83, advanced to the first round of shortlisted inventions, but did not make it to the next round of 20 finalists. However, they do have two prototypes, developed a business plan, filed a provisional patent, and have met with potential manufacturers. The overall winner of £10,000 each for the designer and his or her school will be announced next month.