“Promoting Lifelong Healthy Habits Through Design”
That was the theme for this 5th year of the Design Challenge at the Stanford Center on Longevity – and at the April 17th pitch day for the eight finalists, the first place winner was Ride Rite – a computer-integrated bicycle handlebar designed for older adults who have started to lose confidence in their ability to safely go on bike trips. The $10K top prize went to this student entry from Virginia Tech.
In previous years since 2013 in the Stanford Design Challenge, I picked in advance who I thought would be in the top three. As it turns again as with last year, two of my choices made it; second place going to Gesturecise, an AI-enabled desktop application, which detects body gestures and uses exercises as a screen unlock device, building physical activity into the workday. Third place, (which was my 2nd choice), went to Gather, a device that facilitates gardening for all ages and abilities and promotes social engagement for a happier and healthier lifestyle.
Here is the link to the complete rundown on the 2017/18 Design Challenge winners and finalists, sponsors and judges
Recognition of design and technology in the field of longevity is something to continue to pay attention to, even if a large number of the ideas, prototypes don’t make it to market. So as I like to do every time this Stanford event takes place is to look back on which Design Challenge winners actually have had traction and gone on to make it into the everyday lives of consumers.
As I reported earlier this year, the good news is that Eat Well, a design by Sha Yao – the 1st place winner from 2013 is still going, and not only that – received a design award as one of the Top 25 Best Inventions of 2016. Available on Amazon, Eat Well is a tableware product initially designed to help people with Alzheimer’s.
Third place Luna Lights from 2014 is well in business. Luna Lights solution consists of a bed pad, lights, and a monitoring system that reduces risk from falls. Its pressure pad automatically turns on small portable lights to guide the way to in home nighttime destinations to help reduce falls; and a monitoring system tracks how long and how often night-time trips are occurring.
From 2016, Rendever – a virtual reality product, which took the second place award, is now a top brand primarily used in elder care residences, helping people reconnect with memories, new and past experiences and as is promoted on the website as, “the best way to engage and connect your residents with the world outside your community.” And I have to say, the Rendever web site should win an award to serve as an example of how to tell a crisp narrative with wonderful visuals and minimal text.
So bring on the 2018/19 Stanford Design Challenge.