Innovation on show at prestigious Concours Lépine

Competition has been running since 1901 and was the first place to recognise the ballpoint pen, contact lenses and the steam iron

Nearly 600 inventions have been wowing Parisians at the 117th Concours Lépine, part of the annual Foire de Paris.

The award-winners at the prestigious event will be announced on Monday evening, ahead of the final day of the fair on Tuesday.

Some 700,000 people have seen 583 new inventions - from a sensory wheelchair, and special glasses that allow patients with the neurodegenerative Charcot disease to communicate, to pickpocket-resistant bags, and a weather-powered central heating system that developers say cut heating bills by €800 a year - at the popular event at the porte de Versailles.

The judges' task is a difficult one. The 56 people charged with deciding which inventions are worthy of one of the 280 prizes available - including the prestigious President of the Republic's Prize - have to choose between devices ranging from a drone equipped with an oxygen tank and a geolocation device to help find and rescue shipwrecked sailors to comfortable cycle seats.

A total 80% of the inventions on show have never been on public display before.

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