Now that's clever: Check out these everyday items reimagined to change lives

A never-ending fire extinguisher, an inflatable incubator and many more life-saving and life-changing inventions are vying for this year's James Dyson Award.

Students around the world have come up with life-changing and life-saving ideas hoping to bag first prize in the James Dyson Awards for innovation and invention.

The James Dyson award is an annual competition named after the British inventor best known for creating the Dyson bagless vacuum cleaner. The contest is open to students of product design, industrial design and engineering to come up with an ingenious and innovative new idea, and the winner receives a £30,000 prize and £10,000 for their university. Last year's winner was a team from the University of Pennsylvania, for the Titan Arm exoskeleton.

From a plant-powered radio to a never-ending fire extinguisher, this year's entries showcase a wide range of solutions to all kinds of problems -- from head-scratchers as mundane as having enough space to dry your clothes, all the way to world-changing issues like cleaning beaches of pollution or saving premature babies in the developing world.

Many designs tackle everyday problems, for example by reshaping the way we board trains to cut down on congestion, or redirecting the heat from a radiator. Clever redesigns of common items soothe your baby or cut down on gaming injuries. And entrants follow the trend towards the Internet of Things by reimagining everyday items as smart devices, turning a shopping trolley into a smart cart and a saucepan into a connected cooker -- as well as adding to the trend for smartwatches with health bands that do more than count how many steps you've taken today.

Other entrants turn their attention to the developing world. From a sturdy bike to a simple method of fighting infection to an inflatable incubator protecting premature babies, designers have come up with low-power, low-cost ways to improve and even save the lives of those in deprived areas.

Scroll through the pictures above to check out the most imaginative, unexpected and life-changing innovations vying for the James Dyson award, including an idea for using one of the most horrific weapons of war to save lives instead. Which is your favourite innovation?

 

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