If Superman were ever permitted to have major surgery or to get old (heavens forbid), he would definitely own The Aid, by Lithuanian designer Egle Ugintaite. The neatest part about this walking cane is that it looks super futuristic, but it is achievable. The Aid recently won Fujitsu's grand prize design award for 2011, themed "A Life With Future Computing," designs for 2020.
The Aid, designed by Egle Ugintaite
The Aid, ergonomic hand and arm support
The walking cane is not just a pretty (and totally ergonomic) face. It is loaded with ICT (information communication technology) features, such as:
- A navigator to provide directions to where the user wants to go, communicated to the user via headphone;
- A vital signs sensor, providing current information on the user's pulse, blood pressure, and body temperature, communicated to the user via an integrated LED monitor;
- An SOS button to contact the user's health center in case of emergency, and to provide user's vital signs and GPS location of the user; and
- An SOS cancel button, just in case the SOS button was mistakenly pressed.
The following image locates The Aid's featured components: The Aid features: 1) Soft contact with user's arm; 2) Location of sensors; 3) Sensors' readings on LCD panel; 4) SOS button; and 5) SOS cancel button
The Aid will no doubt provide considerable comfort to those with mobility impairments and, particularly, to those recovering from a trauma that may leave them feeling insecure and unsteady on their own. The focus on ICT is pervasive in today's designs for assistive devices, just as ICT is the trend in design for all user groups.
Personally, though I am not in a hurry to get to the year 2020, I will welcome the opportunity to look like an aging Superwoman rather than Superman's grandmother.
sources: Designboom, Tiresias.org, photos via Designboom
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