Winning the EIG Sustainable Goals Student Ideas Competition

RGU student Palika Vithana won the EIG Sustainable Goals Student Ideas Competition organised by our Entrepreneurship and Innovation team. She tells us more about the competition and her idea of creating an Augmented Reality for book readers.

What is the EIG Sustainable Goals Student Ideas Competition?

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group Sustainable Goals Student Ideas Competition is focused on inspiring students to contribute towards tackling the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as set by the United Nations.

Students are encouraged to share their innovative and creative ideas to tackle issues within one of three categories: Social Impact, Contribution to Local Community, and Innovation.

Three prizes are awarded each month, including £100 for the top winner!

Q&A with Palika

Can you tell us more about yourself?

I am an academic librarian from Uva Wellassa University, Sri Lanka. Currently, I am reading for my Ph.D. at the School of Creative and Cultural Business, RGU.

What was your innovative idea and why did you decide to submit it?

I submitted my idea to the EIG Sustainable Goals Student Idea Competition because I was so excited to share it! Finding innovative solutions to everyday problems gives me a wonderful feeling.

I’m passionate about exploring how libraries can act as sustainable institutions to ensure everyone has access to information. As a book lover, I sometimes think if a person is disabled – permanently or situationally – from holding or reading a book, will there be a solution for them through Augmented Reality (AR)?

Because AR can bridge printed and digital materials, I see it, among other immersive technologies, as the promise of this era of digital transformation.

That’s why I came up with the idea of ​​creating an AR application for reading books. The aim of the app is to convey a real feeling of reading a book with Augmented Book Projection. The application should have features such as voice commands to facilitate individuals who are unable to hold devices. It should also have a magnifying and narration function to support poor eyesight.

With this innovation, book lovers would be able to enjoy reading, overcoming their disabilities. This equity-centric design requires further customer and market analysis, but I really want to make this idea come true in the future. I believe that my Ph.D. studies will partially be beneficial for this. 

Why would you recommend other students take part in the competition?

I was so happy to learn that I had won the top prize of the month! To be appreciated and awarded for such innovative ideas gives truly blissful feelings. I think this competition is a great opportunity for our RGU students because anyone can enter for free and with no extra pressure.

The EIG team at RGU goes the extra mile for the students. They ensure that RGU is not only a place where students acquire knowledge but also a place where the wisdom of innovative thinking is attained.

I have already completed the Innovation Award Level 2 and wish to complete the next level. I really appreciate the EIG team and I am thankful for everything they do.

You can learn more about the competition and other opportunities offered by EIG on the RGU website. Find out more about previous winners of the competition on RGView.

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