Alex Deans gained recognition in 2013 after winning the gold medal in his division and the prize for best project in his age range at the Canadian Wide Science Fair. His project was a device that he named the iAid, which uses ultrasonic sensors to help people with visual disabilities move around obstacles. The sensors are adhered onto a belt so that they can “see” obstacles that are in front of the user. The user holds a joystick that receives this information from the sensors. The joystick will then move telling the user which way to go in order to avoid the obstacle. In 2014, Deans took this technology to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and won more prizes and recognition.
Deans grew up in Windsor, Ontario with his Father, an Ophthalmologist, his mother, and two siblings. He has credited time spent at his dad’s office as being part of the inspiration for the iAid. In separate interviews Deans has stated that it was watching his father’s patients cross the road that originally inspired his invention. He wanted to create a device that would give people with visual disabilities the independence and confidence that they deserve. Deans attended Academie Ste. Cecile International School in Windsor. After his first win at the Canadian Wide Science Fair, local papers celebrated Dean for his achievements. He has since gone on to gain more worldwide recognition in the field of science and technology.
Deans has gone on to work on more projects and gain more recognition following the success of the iAid in 2013. In 2015 he won the Weston Youth Innovation Award for the iAid, in 2017 he was granted a Queen’s Young Leader Award, the Organization of American States named the iAid one of the “Top 50 Ideas Worldwide for Technology in Health, Energy, and Medicine, and he was recognized as one of “Canada’s Future Leaders under 25” by McLean’s magazine. He is currently traveling the world for speaking engagements; recently he has given two TEDx talks in Monte Carlo and Frankfurt and has been onstage with activists such as Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, Magic Johnson, Katie Couric, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. When he is not traveling Deans is working on “Call me Out” a project with McCain Erickson and Chevrolet to create technology that will prevent teens for texting and driving.
Deans, Alex. (2018). Alex Deans. Accessed December 4, 2018
CBC News. (2017). Windsor wonder kid meets Queen Elizabeth, wins young leader award. CBC/ Radio Canada. Accessed December 4, 2018
CBC News. (2015). Alex Deans winds Ontario Science Center Award for iAid device. CBC/Radio Canada. Accessed December 4, 2018.
Waniararachige, Dane. (2015). Windsor teen wins Ontario Science Center Weston Youth Innovation award. Windsor Star. Accessed December 4, 2018.
City Desk. (2013) Young Windsor Scientists brings home national awards. Windsor Star. Accessed December 4, 2018.