Kate McIntosh

Northcross Intermediate School
Kate McIntosh photo

Profile Info

The eWhistle Is a device to help people with a hearing disability get involved and play team sports! It is a multi-sensory wristband that lights up and vibrates when the referee blows the whistle letting the player know to look at the referee for the call.


What inspired you to create your project?

By winning ASB Bright Sparks last year, it gave me the confidence to continue the project. I found out that being deaf can be very isolating with over 900,000 people effected by hearing loss.  The thought that my e-whistle could make a difference to many students NZ wide is very exciting. I used my prize money from last year to buy a 3D printer that enabled me to make a working usable product. I have also been given the opportunity to be the Youth Deaf Ambassador for NZ. My dream is to see the Ministry of Education buying class sets of the eWhistle for every school in NZ.


What improvements have you made on last years entry?

Last year I made a successful proof of concept prototype. This year, I created an actual working product that can be used by users. This year’s entry was all about fabrication, miniaturisation and design.

Size and weight - I have made it 9 times smaller and 52% lighter.

Range – 20 times the range so it can be used on a rugby field.

More comfortable – It has a soft silicon wristband that fits just like a watch around your wrist and the unit inside has a smooth surface so when it’s on your skin it feels like a normal watch.

Safety – The soft silicon wristband Protects the unit inside so when it hits players it won’t hurt

Durability – Now with the silicon wristband you can drop it or knock it many times and it won’t break.


What is the best thing about ASB Bright Sparks to you?

ASB Bright Sparks gives you opportunities and a chance to make something and show it off. It’ great to see what others make and hopefully win or create something cool. It also gives you encouragement to keep trying. 2017 was a great experience and I enjoyed the process so much and was given so much encouragement that I have entered again.