FRANKLIN, Tenn., Dec. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A device enabling you to learn in your sleep and a low-cost system for improving health care in developing countries are steps closer to reality, thanks to Nissan. Today Nissan announced that Andrew Saldana of Downey, Calif., Ryan Helsel of Durham, N.C., and Kyle Vath of Cincinnati are the winners of the "Nissan Innovation Garage" campaign, a social media movement designed to inspire and celebrate innovation and provide funding to launch new ideas.
Earlier this fall, more than 15,000 people answered the question, "Wouldn't It Be Cool If ____?", by submitting their best creative ideas at NissanInnovationGarage.com. Nissan is presenting its grand prize winners, Saldana and Helsel, with $50,000 grants and 2013 Nissan Altimas in recognition of their submissions, which were chosen as the best two concepts by a panel of engineering and product development experts in collaboration with Nissan executive leadership. Ideas were evaluated according to their originality, impact and feasibility. Nissan will work with both winners to promote their ideas using Kickstarter.com, a funding platform for creative projects. The company will also award Vath a 2013 Nissan Altima for his idea, which fans selected as their favorite.
"We've been impressed by the great ideas that were submitted," said Jon Brancheau, vice president, Marketing, Nissan North America. "The team at Nissan enjoyed providing a platform for these innovations to surface. We're looking forward to seeing where they may lead. It's inspiring to see people fired up to find ways to make the world a better place."Saldana's idea, "Dreamwork," is a device that promotes learning while sleeping. Helsel's submission, "Low-Tech Bedsore Prevention," is an affordable system to reduce the occurrence of bedsores for patients in developing countries. Vath's concept, "Non-Emergency Medical Response Unit," is intended to reduce inappropriate use of hospital emergency room services. Participants submitted nearly 33,000 ideas for innovations during the course of the six-week campaign.