Technology for Independent Living

The Dring Smart Cane

This might strike you as a rather kooky item and perhaps part of the things that don’t need to be smart. But this isn’t a step tracker that syncs with your smart phone – it’s a safety device. People who use canes are, naturally, often physically or otherwise disabled and prone to getting lost or falling and injuring themselves. This cane tracks a user’s location and tells someone if they have fallen, left a certain area, or need help. The sensors and GPS module are all in the handle, and it can call, text, or email pre-set accounts with an alert when the cane (and possibly the user) has fallen, or when the button is pressed. The cane itself is designed by century-oldwalking stick company Fayet, which made Dr. House’s cane, so you know it’s high quality.

Smart Cushion

A wheelchair isn’t particularly smart but this simple addition could help those new to a wheelchair avoid the consequences of bad posture or inactivity. It’s a thin pad that sits under the wheelchair’s cushion and detects the users position with a set of pressure sensors. Communicating via smart phone, the cushion tells the user whether their posture is correct – leaning too much to one side could indicate chronic pain or some other issue. It also tracks weight, and has users meet activity goals, as measured by lifting oneself up from the chair regularly.