The Innovation in Life Jacket Design Competition from the BoatU.S. Foundation and the Personal Floatation Device Manufacturers Association (PFDMA) recently awarded $15,000 in prize money to its top three entries.
First place was given to Michael Garman of Moseley, Va., who submitted a prototype (pictured) that uses a smartphone app to submit exact body measurements to the factory, where the life jacket is custom molded for a perfect fit. The design uses two-part expanding foam encased in a heat-reflecting fabric to help keep the wearer cool on hot days, or reverse it to keep the wearer warm on cold days.
Second place went to Jimi Beach of Orlando for his action-inspired floatation “Lifeshirt,” and third place was awarded to Jessie Kate Brown of Lafayette, La., who submitted the “Comfort Flex Life Vest,” a form-fitting design that increases visibility and inspires user confidence.
Entries were judged on the basis of innovation, wearability, value/affordability, reliability, versatility and practicality. The contest reviewed nearly 250 submissions from as far away as Mongolia and New Zealand.
For more, go to www.boatus.org/design.