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The 2016 MedTech Boston 40 Under 40 Healthcare Innovators


Marco Antonio Trujillo Tejada
Co-Founder & President at Sunu
Marco Antonio Trujillo TejadaAs a child in Guadalajara, Mexico, Marco Antonio Trujillo Tejeda had a best friend who was deaf. Since neither he nor his friend could speak proper sign language, they invented their own version. “I think that my passion to develop assistive technology came from my childhood relationship with him, plus my love for creating and inventing stuff,” says Trujillo.

Trujillo’s been able to pursue both of those passions as the co-founder and Chief of Innovations at Sunu. The company’s first product, the Sunu Band, is a smartwatch for people who are visually impaired. The band uses sonar technology to identify obstacles and help the wearer avoid them by sending discrete pulses to the wrist. They’ve also developed a tagging system to help users find personal items like keys.

According to Trujillo, the design for Sunu was a happy accident. “[My business partner] was experimenting with an ultrasound sensor and electric shock feedback, so he built a machine that shocks you the closer you get to the wall,” explains Trujillo. “At that moment we thought that it may be useful for the blind, so I went to a blind institution, shared the idea and proposed a collaboration to develop a mobility device.”

Trujillo views Sunu as a leader in accessibility technology, and integral to the movement to make people with disabilities more included and independent in society. “Sunu comes from a Mayan word that means Hummingbird—for the Mayas and other ancient Mexican cultures, a hummingbird was a messenger that symbolized willpower,” Trujillo says. “I believe that the human willpower is capable of overcoming any limitation, regardless of the conditions, so Sunu is a messenger that seeks to awaken and fuel the human willpower through the best of technology and design.”

MedTech Boston Staff

    Abigail Ballou, Alexandra David, Shreya Iyer and Casey Nugent contributed to this story.

    6 Comments

    1. Sraliceop@netscape says:

      Congratulations to Call9! I admire the motivation and purpose behind your work. May it enhance the Gift of Life for many people. And it all started with Al and Estelle! My best wishes and prayers!

      Alice Reichmeider, O.P.

    2. Chandra reddy says:

      Nina
      Way to go
      We are all so proud of you

    3. kusuma rao says:

      Hi Nina my name is KusumaRao classmate of your parents at MMC.i want you to know how proud i am of you not just the intelligence but the compassion for others at such an young age.To tell our own self for nthe good of others in not known in indian community. you made all of us feel good keepup the goodwork and God bless you love Kusuma aunty

    4. Dr. Harneet V Thakur says:

      Hi Anshuman,

      I am very proud of you and lucky to have you as my student. It was known during your M.tech project that you will shine. Many best wishes and congratulations. I wish you grand success in all your endevours.

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