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Superman's Cane Is Here In The Form Of 'The Aid'

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 UgintaiteThe Aid, designed by Egle Ugintaite

 

The Aid, ergonomic hand and arm supportThe 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 buttonThe 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

 

Keeping you posted...

 

Comments
Jun 8, 2011
by Anonymous

Superman's Cane

While I am a disciple of progressive design and love the looks of this, I seriously question the utililty and also the ergonomics. Hope the deisgner will have an ergonomist look very closely at this because it looks like Carpal Tunnel Position to me. Cane's primary function, after all, is support, and if any weight were put on this the wrist is way vulnerable.
As to the functions, can't they be supplied many other ways? Aside from the phone, it would seem a cane should relate more closely to the disability- and only after the ergo aspects are revisited.