Alaina Gassler, a 14-year-old from West Grove, Pennsylvania, took home $25,000 in this year’s Broadcom MASTERS STEM competition for her simple, yet clever, solution for removing blind spots in vehicles. It’s officially called “Alaina’s blind-spot annihilator,” and it consists of a webcam mounted outside the passenger side of the car, which is used to record the areas that drivers can’t see in their mirrors. A projector then shows the live video on an A-pillar on the passenger side.
It did take some trial and error at first, especially with the projected video. To be more specific, it wasn’t showing up clearly when she sat in the driver’s seat, while the moving lights also gave her a headache. So, she covered the pillar with a special reflective fabric that offers the driver a clear image, but shows up as just a black piece of material for passengers. Alaina was one of 30 finalists (18 girls, 12 boys) selected from nearly 2,400 entrants in 47 states.