The Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge announced its 2017-2018 winners last week. After narrowing down to eight international teams, the judges picked three winners. This year’s theme was “Promoting Lifelong Healthy Habits through Design.” The theme’s goal is to optimize senior resource for healthy living through the use of design.
Each team received $1,000 and travel expenses to build a prototype. These were later judged by representatives from business, academy, and the government. After the contest, teams receive one-of-a-kind entrepreneurship guidance to help promote their entries, including a day at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
First Place — Ride Rite
First place and the $10,000 grand prize was awarded to the team from Virginia Tech. Their entry, Ride Rite, was a computer integrated bicycle handle to make riding safer. The hope is that seniors will be able to bike later into life with these advancements. Among the features are blind spot warnings and fall detection, which automatically notifies your emergency contact.
Hey so my team won this year's Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge! This is our product RideRite. It's designed to give the elderly a safer biking experience. #DesignChallenge2018 pic.twitter.com/c6mH4Et8mW— Eric Lord (@The_Lord_Eric) April 18, 2018
The handle also has brake lights and navigation to help seniors ride with confidence. Finally, the handlebar sits farther back, making it easier for seniors to reach.
Second Place — Gesturcise
Second place went to the team representing the Indian Institute of Technology in Guwahati. Gesturcise, the team’s program, encourages seniors to move, preventing long stretches of time without some form of exercise. The exercises can be as simple as a stretch or simple movement.
How does it accomplish this? Using a webcam and artificial intelligence (AI), Gesturcise prompts seniors to exercise if they’ve been sedentary for too long. If it senses you’ve been still for a long enough time, your computer screen will lock. It’ll remain locked until the AI senses you’ve performed the proper exercise. The program can also give you reminders to exercise by adjusting the screen brightness. It’ll even suggest specific exercises, while learning your preferred or most suited exercises.
Third Place — Gather
Want to garden, but find that your age or disability is keeping you from achieving this? That’s exactly what San Francisco State University’s entry, Gather, combats. The device not only helps seniors to garden, a healthy activity for your mind and body. It’s also designed to encourage social interaction, which further promotes mental health.
The device is a movable cart that can take the form of a walker, seat, or storage unit for gardening tools. You can reconfigure Gather to suit your needs and help you garden effectively. The team chose its name to encourage seniors to gather around the device and engage with each other.
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Congratulations to all the finalists and winners at this year’s challenge. The contest’s goal — to improve the lives of seniors through design — is becoming even more important as our lifespans continue to grow. Each entry found some way to improve the lives of millions of seniors around the world. For this, they’re all winners in our books.