The Red Dot Award is one of the greatest design awards in the world. This year, two Estonian companies surpassed the tough competition - Sheetsplint, and HUUM.
Modular medical splint maker Sheetsplint, whose product was created by the designer Mihkel Masso and combat medicine instructor Rait Arro, was awarded in the Medical Equipment category. No Estonian firm has ever won in this category before.
"There has been no innovation in the field of splinting for about 50 years, there has only been one total stagnation. I started looking for a splint that meets the conditions for use outdoors. That they be ultralight, compact and most importantly, structurally rigid, to avoid secondary injuries [are the main considerations]," Arro told ETV's news show "Aktuaalne kaamera".
"The splints on the market at the time only solved a small range of injuries. Our goal was to develop a universal splint that allows the doctor to treat a much larger number of injuries through modularity, so we wanted to expand its functionality," Masso added.
Masso and Arro had worked on the design of the splint for more than four years, testing hundreds of prototypes until they reached the current solution. Even more important than the design award is the fact that the product has actually come into use where and when it is needed.
"As of today, this product is used by our partnerd efense forces both in Estonia and abroad, and is being tested at several military units of several of our NATO partners," Arro noted.
The Red Dot Award recognizes product design, functionality, innovation, quality, sustainability and ergonomics.
"About 6,000 products took part in this year's competition in the product design category, we competed with the world's top brands, very intense competition and a great challenge," Masso said.
From HUUM's product range, both the CLIFF electric heater and the UKU sauna remote control picked up a Red Dot award. In the case of the electric heater, the well-thought-out structure and the arrangement of the internal air tunnel were the main factors in bagging the award.
The second product, the UKU remote control, permits controling the sauna from a mobile application, anywhere in the world. The product designer, Mihkel Güsson, said that a separate victory in the first round means standing out from among thousands of others.
"Obviously, Estonia is a sauna nation, and understands that if the sauna is well made, it also looks good, but the steam must also be effective. If it is not, the sauna looks good only. I think that Estonian sauna manufacturers are much better than those elsewhere," Güsson said.
Editor: Roberta Vaino