The award, which is funded by private and public companies in Denmark, was first given out in 2005 "to celebrate design that not only looks good but also improves lives of people all over the world," said Kigge Hviid, manager of the award foundation.
The winning designers had been informed before the award ceremony Friday.
"Great design is a way to tell people that you value them," said Yves Behar, a Swiss designer who was part of the team behind the "XO" portable computer.
He said the prize money would be donated to the Massachusetts-based One Laptop Per Child program, which has been trying to line up governments in several countries to buy the machines, which for now cost $175.
Philip Greer, one of the British designers behind the "Tongue Sucker," said the first-aid device could be used to open the airways of an unconscious person by sucking the tongue from the back of the mouth.
Canadian Sebastien Dubois said his prosthetic foot was designed for land mine victims, and could be produced for as little as $8 in developing countries using local materials.
The other winners were the "Solar Bottle," which disinfects water with the help of sunlight and the Tesla Roadster electric sports car made by California-based Tesla Motors.
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