Student Engineering Design Challenge Features NKK SmartDisplay™

Student Engineering Design Challenge Features NKK SmartDisplay™

TEMPE, Ariz. – October 3, 2018 – NKK Switches partnered with Arizona State University Devils Invent to hold an engineering design challenge incorporating the NKK SmartDisplay. Located at the Generator Labs on ASU’s Tempe campus over the weekend of September 21-23, the hackathon-style challenge concluded with 14 student team presentations and prototype application designs judged by a panel of NKK and ASU staff.

Participants worked with NKK’s SmartDisplay product, which NKK donated for the engineering design challenge. SmartDisplay is a fully programmable HMI device that combines the functionality of an electro-mechanical switch with the versatility of a touchscreen display. The student participants were tasked to come up with an application for SmartDisplay that could simplify a daily task.

The design challenge was open to all ASU students, from freshman to Ph.D. candidates, and helped to promote creativity by encouraging students to design, build and implement an innovative engineering solution.

NKK Switches of America, Inc. president Masanori Honda was on hand to award prizes for the top designs. “ASU Devils Invent worked hard to provide a truly collaborative, inspiring environment for the students to design their SmartDisplay applications,” stated Honda. “It was amazing to see the intelligence and passion of the students on display during this weekend-long design challenge. The winning designs were innovations that I have not seen before in an application.”

ASU Devils Invent representative Anthony Kuhn, stated, “Our SmartDisplay Devils Invent was our highest-attended event to date. Over the course of one weekend, more than 80 ASU students were able to learn skills that would normally take weeks to assimilate. This was all made possible through hands-on experience with technology and experts that NKK Switches provided.​”

The success of this year’s event has already inspired plans for a long-term partnership, including annual events featuring NKK SmartDisplay products and other tech offerings from the global manufacturer of electro-mechanical switches.

To learn more about Devils Invent, visit