2024 Contest Now Accepting Entries!

Submit your best new product ideas for a chance at $25,000, other great prizes, and global recognition. If you already are registered, log in to access the entry form. Otherwise, click here to get started.

Help build a better tomorrow

Since Tech Briefs magazine launched the Create the Future Design contest in 2002 to recognize and reward engineering innovation, over 15,000 design ideas have been submitted by engineers, students, and entrepreneurs across six continents. You can also join the innovators who dared to dream big and build a better tomorrow by entering this year’s contest.

Read About Past Winners’ Success Stories

Over the past 20 years, many innovators have used the recognition afforded by the contest to advance the development and marketing of their technologies. We highlight some success stories of past winners who have brought their inventions to the marketplace.

Click here to read more

A ‘Create the Future’ Winner Featured on ‘Here’s an Idea’

Spinal cord injury affects 17,000 Americans and 700,000 people worldwide each year. A research team at NeuroPair, Inc. won the Grand Prize in the 2023 Create the Future Design Contest for a revolutionary approach to spinal cord repair. In this Here’s an Idea podcast episode, Dr. Johannes Dapprich, NeuroPair’s CEO and founder, discusses their groundbreaking approach that addresses a critical need in the medical field, offering a fast and minimally invasive solution to a long-standing problem.

Listen now

Thank you from our Sponsors

“At COMSOL, we are very excited to recognize innovators and their important work this year. We are grateful for the opportunity to support the Create the Future Design Contest, which is an excellent platform for designers to showcase their ideas and products in front of a worldwide audience. Best of luck to all participants!”

— Bernt Nilsson, Senior Vice President of Marketing, COMSOL, Inc.

“From our beginnings, Mouser has supported engineers, innovators and students. We are proud of our longstanding support for the Create the Future Design Contest and the many innovations it has inspired.”

— Kevin Hess, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Mouser Electronics

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Sensordrone: a Practical, Tricorder Like Platform for Consumers and Mobile Device Developers

Votes: 0
Views: 27888

What if sensors, meters, instruments were just Apps instead of single purpose, bulky, expensive equipment? Sensordrone is a first step towards making this a reality.

Mobile computing is the way of the future, but most sensor products have not kept up, and are still very expensive and bulky. Sensordrone is a multi-purpose, configurable sensor that dramatically extends the sensing capability of smartphones & tablets. It is a key Fob sized platform for both consumers and developers (software and hardware developers).

For consumers, Sensordrone includes multiple environmental sensors allowing people to run a variety of Apps, like carbon monoxide monitoring, temperature, humidity, breath alcohol, stud-finder, light, weather, altimeter, barometer, data-logging and many more. The beauty of the device is that a single device could replace a number of single purpose instruments. All a user needs to do is run a new app. It's also very small and affordable.

For developers, open software allows software developers to create new sensor applications, both for entertainment and serious applications. For hardware developers, Sensordrone offers an easy way to integrate new hardware products, like medical sensors, to Android and iOS devices. This platform concept means that products can be developed and launched much faster, and for less money. For example, if one wants to make a medical sensor instrument today, they develop an entire dedicated system. With Sensordrone, they'd only need to interface the medical sensors to Sensordrone's expansion connector, and then develop just the highest level application software. In some cases, this eliminates the majority of the development cost, so small companies or individual inventors can offer a mobile accessory to the market with minimal risk. The market benefits from dramatic reduction in cost and more customization for specific applications.

Open is critical to Sensordrone. Open software and a collaborative attitude is attracting a variety of developers, which will lead to an ever increasing variety of Apps and expansion hardware. This open/collaborative approach will enable much faster technology advancement than the traditional approach of patenting everything. The focus is on Engineers rather than Lawyers!


  • Awards

  • 2012 Grand Prize Winner
  • 2012 Top 100 Entries


Voting is closed!


  • Name:
    Mark Wagner
  • Type of entry:
    Team members:
  • Profession:
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
  • Mark's favorite design and analysis tools:
    No favorite.
  • Mark's hobbies and activities:
    Sensors, electronics, hockey, beer
  • Mark belongs to these online communities:
  • Mark is inspired by:
    Simplicity. Making scientific and technical products simple for the average consumer.
  • Software used for this entry:
  • Patent status: