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Segway of wheelchairs

September 30, 2014
WHILL Model A

The Whill Type-A chair is what happens when former Toyota and Nissan engineers get together with a couple of executives from Sony!  The Whill Type-A device has all direction four-wheel-drive, a range of 10.6 miles at speeds of up to 5.5 mph and is connected to a smartphone app via Bluetooth that sets the sensitivity of the controller, maximum speed and acceleration.   This is a great example of  creating products for an aging population that has money and is comfortable with technology–ride on!

http://www.whill.us

Wear Your Doctor

March 28, 2013

Normally I am not a big fan of Time Magazine, but lately they have been doing a great job looking at trends.  In this article they explore the question of; What if getting a checkup were as simple as slapping on a Band-Aid?

Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2013/03/14/10-big-ideas/slide/wear-your-doctor/

ILLUSTRATION BY BROWN BIRD DESIGN FOR TIME

Taking health care off the mainframe

March 27, 2013

Eric Dishman makes a great argument on why our health care system is like computing circa 1959, tethered to big, unwieldy central systems: hospitals, doctors, nursing homes.  The video is great for anyone looking at new products that may be able to cut the cord.

Computer aided medicine—Dr. Watson

February 18, 2013

TWO years ago IBM attracted a lot of attention when its “Watson” program beat two human champions at Jeopardy!   Which everyone knows is way harder then chess.

IBM now plans to adapt the system for oncologists, with trials due to begin in two clinics.   Their ultimate goal is for Watson to compare patient notes with the information harvested from medical journals, treatment guidelines, etc. It would then suggest several treatment regimens, ranked by how effective it thinks they are likely to be. Watson may even suggest clinical trials that the patient could be enrolled in.

According to the Economist  “The idea is to use the machine as a sort of prosthetic brain for doctors.”  I won’t touch that one.

For the full story http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2013/02/computer-aided-medicine Rat cyborg brain

Simple and effective motivation to be active

January 11, 2013

Post CES it is nice to come across a product that is so simple in its execution  that you can’t help but to wonder why more companies don’t take similar paths.   Tractivity is a simple device that you clip to your shoe to track how much you walk.  Sure lots of products do that, but none that I have seen do it as simply or motivate you as effectively.  I actually got of the bus early today to add a bit more distance to my walk–just so I could see my activity increase (and rationalize that extra cookie).   They can be found at http://www.tractivityonline.comTractivity on shoe

Lessons from the one handed world

July 4, 2012

Accessibility is a big issue, between aging boomers, war veterans, and the general population nearly 63 million Americans, according to the US Census, have a reported physical or mental condition that limits their movements or activities.  Thats 1 in 5 Americans!      The Industrial Design community is now tackling what it means for housing, telecommunications and other aspects of living.    Check out  http://www.idsa.org/summer-2012-innovation-full-issue

eBay decides to run a full data center on fuel cells

June 26, 2012

The six megawatts of cells will run on biogas, generated by organic waste at landfills or farms, and natural gas, use the grid only for backup power.

I love this announcement, along  with the fact that Daimler Benz is opening a fuel cell plant in Vancouver,  as it gives amazing credibility to a technology sector, and a group of  persistent people in BC that have taught us all a valuable lesson in not giving  up on a vision.  Two thumbs up!

Read the full story about eBay here.

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