This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

CNET News Video: Tech Awards honor techy solutions for developing world

About Video Transcript

CNET News Video: Tech Awards honor techy solutions for developing world

3:13 /

From one-time-use syringes to fire logs made from an invasive African plant, the 2008 Tech Awards honored five innovators with $50,000 for creating technology solutions for problems in developing countries. CNET's Kara Tsuboi learns more about these seemingly simple solutions that have potential to make a big impact.

[ Music ] ^M00:00:04 >> With our fancy phones, lightning fast computers and ten gazillion songs in our pockets, it can be easy to take technology for granted when living in America. That's why the Tech Awards celebrate the innovators who are creating technology-based solutions for the problems that are plaguing the developing world. The 25 finalists are competing in five categories: Education, economic development, health, environment and equality. The winner of each category will be awarded $50,000, which goes a long way in distributing products or services in developing countries. Here are the five winners. >> Just African thorn bush made in to a log. >> That log won Dr. Laurie Marker in the Cheetah Conservation Fund first place in the environment category. >> Cheetahs have a problem because their habitat has been thickly bushed and it's a thorn bush environment that's taken over much of the land. We're selectively harvesting those thorn bush, so that we're -- you know habitat putting people to work and making a product that is saleable, which is a eco-friendly fuel log. >> Winning top honors for the health category was Star Syringe, maker of one-time-use needles. >> It's an affordable, sustainable product that can be used in the developing world where there are 16 billion injections given yearly. This is WHO -- World Health Organization data of which up to half or 50% are unsafe. >> Built-in wings only let the syringe move in one direction for one injection, then the plunger is disabled. >> It's locked, but I can pull the plunger because this is break points, so then it's completely useless. >> Build Change is a nonprofit organization that designs and trains homeowners and builders to build earthquake-resistant houses from developing countries. >> Elizabeth Hausler's Build Change won first place for equality. A category that awards technology that aims to level the playing field. >> We look at what technologies, what materials, what skills are available locally. Architecture is culturally appropriate and see if we can come up with some very minor changes to improve the structures, so they don't collapse in the next earthquake. >> In one sentence, this is basically Netflix for poor kids. >> That's the concept of Digital StudyHall, the winner of the education category. >> In places like India and Bangladesh where they have no good teachers at all, what do we do? We find good teachers in cities, shoot them, put them in a big video database, burn DVDs from them and distribute the DVDs to these poor schools in slums and rural areas. >> Also targeting poor communities in India is Desi Power. >> There 350,000 villages in India that have no electricity, no water supply, no education, no health services. >> Hari Sharan took home top dollar in the economic development category for finding a way to solve unemployment and lack of electricity in these villages. >> So we decided to link the two goals of creating electricity with renewable energy with local resources in the village and use the electricity to create jobs for the people. >> After a day of networking with potential investors, the laureates were honored at a gala at the San Jose Convention Center. I'm Kara Tsuboi, CNET.com. ^M00:03:11 [ Music ]

New releases

The McLaren 675LT is simply devilish
1:30 March 4, 2015
The McLaren 675LT builds upon the McLaren 650 with better aerodynamics, less weight and a diabolical 666 horsepower.
Play video
Better than Touch ID? Check out Vkansee's optical fingerprint scanner
1:13 March 3, 2015
Clean or dirty, wet or dry, this highly-tuned fingerprint scanner promises to dominate Apple's ho-hum tech.
Play video
Koenigsegg Regera
1:27 March 3, 2015
At the 2015 Geneva Auto Show, Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg rolled out the Regera which just might be the most powerful plug-in...
Play video
Nvidia Shield
2:59 March 3, 2015
The Nvidia Shield offers gamers an affordable, high-performance set-top box that combines the best of Android TV and Nvidia's own GRID...
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 138: Learning to cook with VR, a robotic bear caregiver and more
24:12 March 3, 2015
On today's show, we take a look at the world's first 3D-printed jet engines, discuss an app that helps you learn to cook via virtual...
Play video
Maker builds cool DIY drones inspired by 'Star Wars'
1:27 March 3, 2015
2015 might be the year of the drone, and to back up that claim here's a look at two "Star Wars"-themed drones created this year by...
Play video
Smart Home Buying Guide: Home Automation
1:57 March 3, 2015
Automation promises to make your life easier -- let us make it a little easier for you to get started.
Play video
Pebble Time rocks Steel design, BlackBerry struts old-school slider
2:57 March 3, 2015
The Kickstarter record-breaking smartwatch adds a new model for preorders, and BlackBerry returns to phone designs of the past. Also,...
Play video