One Touch™ Can OpenerThis year's International Design Excellent Awards (IDEA), published in the July 20, 2007 edition of Business Week , have been awarded to 81 product designs in several categories of items, such as Business and Industrial, Consumer Products, Ecodesign, and Medical and Scientific Equipment. Among the categories of winners are interspersed several COOL items that will benefit boomers, seniors, and those with disabilities.
The One-Touch Can Opener was tied for the Gold IDEA in the consumer products category. Originally designed for seniors, this award winner from Hong Kong is in demand by all age groups. Tell you why.... Press the shiny green button and this guy walks around the can by itself! This is available from several vendors on Amazon for around 16.95. (Read the customer reviews before deciding to purchase this item.)
No more knukkle-shavings in your potato salad! The PalmPeeler™, a product of Seattle-based Chef'n Corporation, was tied for Gold IDEA in the consumer products group. It removes the skin from vegetables (not your palm, as the name might imply). Because you hold the blade in your palm, this device offers you greater control over what gets shaved, and it's both comfortable and safe to use. PalmPeeler is available from Amazon.com and has terrific customer reviews!
Can't beat the OXO Good Grips Hardware Line , which won a Bronze Medal in the consumer products category. Of course these handles promise to be as comfy as the great kitchen items Good Grips has produced. Many of the tools in the picture above can be purchased as a set from Amazon.com for $59.99 and free shipping!
What do you think of the MAGICWHEELS™ 2-gear wheelchair drive, made to substitute for the wheels on your current wheelchair? The manufacturer claims these 2-gear wheels will reduce the effort in your shoulders, arms, and back so you can climb hills and brake with greater ease. Oh, and less pain in those areas as well. MAGICWHEELS received a Silver IDEA in the medical and scientific equipment category. They are already available from the website and covered by Medicare and several insurance programs!
As wheelchair users know, they need to keep the upper body as fit as possible, even if they're not competitive wheelchair racers. But it's difficult, if not impossible, to use regular gym equipment to maintain muscle strength. The Gold IDEA in student design and the overall Best In Show went to this accessible full-body workout machine submitted in the student design category by the University of Cincinnati is called The Access. Looking like a prototype for things to come, this machine accomodates almost everyone, from wheelchair bound, to extra tall or extra small people, to those with very limited mobility, such as paraplegics and quadriplegics. Able-bodied persons can lock in a rolling bench to use the upper body functions.
This Universal Toilet design from South Korea looks really cool, doesn't it? Well, guess what? It's also accessible! Wheelchair users can slide onto it and can use handles on the front bar for better stability. This toilet was tied for the Gold IDEA in the student design category.
And, as we can see, the student inventors are no slouches. Check out MYGO , German winner of a Bronze IDEA in the student category. This wheelable walking stick is the first "global positioning" device for blind and low vision persons. Instead of satellite positioning, MYGO operates in response to the user's hand grip, and communicates location and traffic and weather conditions auditorily to the user through headphones. This is sure to take the stress and uncertainty out of negotiating your way around if you are blind. Brilliant invention!
In 2008, let's see if a couple of our inventor-readers make the IDEA lists! Submissions for the 2008 IDEA's are due in October, 2007. It's a challenge to you....
Keeping you posted...