TWO York students who have invented a tracking device to help keep vulnerable people safe have won recognition for their work.

Emily Martin and Wan Yun Law are finalists in the Engineers in Business Champion of Champions innovation competition.

Emily, 21, and Wan Yun, 25, are both students of Interactive Media at the University of York, and set up LightHouse, a UK company focused on using tracking software solutions to create positive change.

Their first product, North Star, is a discreet, magnetic, clippable tracker, paired with tracking software that is usable on desktop and mobile devices.

The software uses safe zones, where the person’s specific location is not disclosed until they leave these zones. To enable faster rescue response, North Star allows carers and guardians to share the vulnerable person's location to trusted contacts via What3Words, a geocoding system used by emergency services to identify locations.

Emily and Wan Yun will be pitching their product against nine other teams of student and graduate innovators in the national final - a live, online dragons’ den-style competition - on October 22.

Judges will be assessing the potential impact of North Star within the healthcare sector and among the most vulnerable in society, among other criteria.

A sum of £15,000 is up for grabs to help the winners develop their innovation. Winners will also receive mentoring from business leaders plus CV support and entrepreneurial books.

The competition is sponsored by the Engineers in Business Fellowship, which champions business education for engineers and supports universities by providing grants for students who develop ground-breaking ideas.

Emily said: “We were inspired to find a solution to the problem of wandering by people with dementia and autism due to our personal experiences, and the distressing statistics in this area.

“There are many stories of tracking technology being used to find and save people from dangerous situations, and this got us thinking. North Star will make a difference by preventing wandering with vulnerable people, using safer talking technologies.”

She added: "Engineering and technology students often have the skills to create a solution to a specific problem that society is facing. However, it is not enough to just make the solution. Introducing it to the public is equally important.”