One of the brightest young inventors in Poland
Petros Psyllos is a designer and a computer scientist. He is recognized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Review as one of the brightest young inventors in Poland. Forbes magazine chose him the 2017 list 30 Under 30 Europe that spotlights the young elite and spans ten diverse categories.
He was born on February 27, 1994 in Chios, Greece. He obtained a degree as electronics technician from Complex of Secondary Electrical Schools in Białystok (2010-2014) and he studies Computer Science in Bialystok University of Technology (2014-2018).
His scientific work focuses on artificial intelligence and image analysis systems and sound. His wearable tech allows the blind to interpret their surroundings through audio messages. Psyllos, realized that technology could provide the blind with many more ways to interpret their surroundings.
This led him to create MATIA, a portable device that is attached to your waist or neck with more than 14 sensors, and provides descriptions of an environment using words and music. The device connects to a smart phone, which processes the data, and provides information about types of obstacles and their locations. For example, “there is a bicycle 2m in front of you.” This device is not only useful for the visually impaired but also for those suffering from dementia and Alzheimers, and has resulted in Psyllos´ selection as one of MIT Technology Review´s Innovators Under 35 Poland 2016.
One of MATIA´s advantages is that it plays musical descriptions for its users and each item in its database has a different sound, and it therefore reduces the number of required verbal messages, enhancing its users´ experience. Furthermore, in emergency situations such as thefts, the device automatically calls for help. This is possible as even if the user´s mobile phone runs out of battery or is stolen, the basic functions such as the detection of obstacles or dangerous situations still works.
MATIA has already been successfully tested on more than 30 blind people, and Petros has received messages from people based in the US and France asking if they can use the technology. He is currently working on a new prototype, which will be smaller and cheaper, and therefore more accessible and user friendly. So far, the project has been sponsored by the Bialystok University of Technology and Polish foundations for the blind but Petros plans to attract further investment in 2017, and has already received a number of offers.
He has won over 16 main awards at national and international level (Pittsburgh, Seattle, Paris, Brussels) in the field of invention. He was also a finalist of the central stage of Imagine Cup – the largest technology competition, organized by Microsoft. He is the winner of “Best of the Best” of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland and has won awards from the Chinese Association for Innovation and the French Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. He won the gold medal at the 115th Inventions Fair Concours Lépine in France and at INPEX in the USA.