DENVER (KDVR) — The votes are in, and the Colorado Chamber of Commerce announced the winner of the 2023 Coolest Thing Made in Colorado Thursday.
Coloradans voted from a list of 10 finalists in the competition. The options ranged from military aircraft ejection seats to a gadget that keeps your bedsheets from getting wadded up in the washer and dryer.
A spacecraft and asteroid-sampling mission made by Lockheed Martin Space, OSIRIS-REx, was crowned as the Coolest Thing Made in Colorado for 2023.
The spacecraft was part of a NASA asteroid-sampling mission
OSIRIS-REx stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer. It was developed and constructed by Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colorado and was utilized by NASA in a mission to collect asteroid samples.
“What could be cooler than a spacecraft doing revolutionary work to understand our solar system – built right here in Colorado?” Colorado Chamber President and CEO Loren Furman said. “What’s made here changes the world, and we’re so proud to honor Lockheed Martin’s OSIRIS-Rex mission as our 2023 winner.”
That asteroid sample holds potential clues about the origins of life on Earth, according to NASA.
Plus, the mission didn’t end with that sample. The spacecraft dropped the samples off in the Utah desert in a sealed capsule during a flyby of Earth last month. Then, it continued on to a new mission to explore another asteroid called Apophis.
Runner up: OcuLenz by Ocutrx Vision Technologies, inc.
A wearable headset that digitally generates images for a patient allowing for corrected vision came in second place for the Coolest Thing Made in Colorado.
OcuLenz, made in Colorado Springs, is a vision aid for people with moderate to severe age-related macular degeneration. Cameras on the headset project real-world images onto a lens, allowing patients to read after years of being unable to for 11 or more years.
“This is a way we can allow them to regain some of that daily functionality that they’ve lost and not give up hope,” Ocutrx CEO and CTO Michael Freeman said.
Peoples Choice Award: DNA Vibe “Jazz Band Live” by DNA Vibe, LLC
A headset made in Centennial, Colorado that uses regenerative light therapy technology was chosen for the People’s Choice Award for the Coolest Thing Made in Colorado.
“We literally bring particle and optical physics with genomics and molecular biology,” DNA Vibe CEO Perry Kamel said. “This is nerdiness on steroids.”
The device helps people accelerate and improve recovery from injuries and surgeries by stimulating the body’s natural regenerative processes.