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Sagging skin, weak eyesight and aging bones are not my primary concerns for old-age. I am more curious to know if technology advancements will match my expectations. However the reality is that, as we age from this present moment, we will always be in sync with technology and its latest developments. But will the stuff that we take for granted, like a walking stick, broom or pen, keep up with our future demands? Here is a lineup of five designs that hope to make our old-age as comfortable as possible. Let me know what you think of them…
Helping Handy Escalator by Kim Mi Yeon, Kang Seong-a, Kim Beom Jun & Kim Jun Sang
Given our grease-laden diet and sedentary lifestyle, it is safe to crown obesity and arthritis as our number one enemy. Helping Handy Escalator will be the one to help us get up and down short flight of stairs, something that we take for granted! This seat slides up and down a stair rail and features magnets that help it glide with ease.
Opticane by Shin Dong Jun & Kim Min Sun
Even if you decide to keep fit and walk to the nearest deli for your morning cuppa and pancakes, a simple walking stick will not suffice. Handy combos like the Opticane will be the way to go. A walking stick with a magnifier integrated, so that you can read the prices carefully in the menu card. Yes, pancakes cost $50-a-stack in the future, get over it!
GP Pen by Gao Chao, Li Dong Peng, Xin Yong Xian, Yu Fan & Liu Jian Ming
Ok, so we digested the steep rise in the cost of living, but simple pleasures like doing the crossword still need to be addressed. GP Pen will be our extra pair of eyes they say. A convenient tool that combines a pen and a small magnifying glass! It means that readings glasses don’t have to be worn all the time.
Easy-to-use Bottle Cap by Jia Siyuan & Long Qi
Grabbing open a bottle of water ain’t gonna be easy for us old-bones! The prepared futuristic bottles will have bulbous, oval-shaped bottle caps, which are easily gripped by our weak hands. Sigh… do we really have to go through this?
Standing Broom by Poh Liang Hock
Coming from a background where the domestic help does chores like cleaning, the idea of picking a broom and doing it myself is quite painful! Sweeping the floors at the ripe age of 80 is kinda nightmarish for me! Standing Broom makes cleaning less arduous by minimising the cleaner’s need to bend down. Sounds like a promise, so it better be available in the future! Standing Broom can stand up by itself via a folding action. The user applies downward pressure on the handle to fold the broom head, and then turns the handle clockwise to lock it in place. Unlocking the broom from its standing position involves turning the handle counter-clockwise on the block, and snapping the broom head back into its vertical position.
All the above projects are 2011 red dot design concept winners.