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Goz

Göz consists of three elements: a motion-detecting bulb, a bathtub drain, and a companion app that detect falls to autonomously call help.

Photo of Berk İlhan
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Who is your idea designed for and how does it enable older adults to live their best possible life by preventing falls?

62% of elderly victims, in bathroom injuries, won't be able to live independently afterwards, if they don't receive help within an hour. Learning from the research, Göz family was designed to do its jobs invisibly without embarrassing its users. The smart bulb detects falls in the bathroom and then calls for help. The bathtub drain detects falls and a lack of motion due to fainting, then automatically empties the tub.

Problem 1: We all fall. but elderly is under bigger risk.
Design research revealed that the bathroom is a very dangerous place for both young and old alike, but surprisingly, there isn't a smart safety product in the market that solves the problem seamlessly and in an elegant way. According to Centers for Disease Control's report, almost 235,000 nonfatal bathroom injuries were treated in U.S. Emergency Departments. Consumersadvocate.org claims that 62% of elderly victims won't be able to live independently afterwards, if they don't receive help within an hour. 

Göz consists of three elements: a motion-detecting LED bulb, a motion-detecting bathtub drain and a companion app. The smart bulb detects falls in the bathroom and then calls for help. The bathtub drain detects falls and a lack of motion due to fainting, then automatically empties the tub. Göz keeps you and your loved ones safe in the bathroom.


Problem 2: It is embarrassing for users to expose their fall detecting products.
Learning from the research, Göz was designed as a family of smart bathroom safety devices that do their jobs invisibly without embarrassing its users. In contrast to the medical looking life alert devices, "Göz" was created with a unique branding perspective that sees both the young and old age groups as potential users, so it aims to attract both age groups and fit all bathrooms with its minimal look and variety of color options. Both of these elements are designed to be inconspicuous and modest (user research revealed that people didn't want visitors walking into their bathrooms and realizing a fall detection alert system.)


Problem 3: Fall alarms don't provide adequate information for the helpers.
The smart bulb automatically detects falls using proximity sensors. Its built-in speaker and microphone—located at the midpoint of the bulb—turns the device into a 2-way speakerphone, providing a hands-free way for the injured person to communicate her or his needs effectively, and helping the people who are on the way over to be better prepared. Additionally, the phone communication provides a way to give psychological support before help arrives.


Problem 4: How might we simplify installing "Smart Home Monitoring Devices".
The Göz ecosystem is installed very easily. Users screw the bulb into any overhead light fixture, and drop the drain plug into any existing bath fixture. The user then downloads the mobile app and selects which family members and friends should be called in case there is a fall in the bathroom.


Problem 5: Fainting and drowning in bathtub is a risk. 
Since bathtubs and showers are usually isolated from the bathroom with a curtain or glass, the smart bathtub drain was created. If the device detects any unusual shock patterns—say, a fall in the shower, or zero motion in the tub longer than a determined duration of time—the smart drain warns the user. If it doesn't receive a response, the device automatically pops up, drains the bathtub, and calls for help. (The smart drain is connected to the bulb via Bluetooth, allowing it to be compact with low energy consumption.)



Berk İlhan envisions Göz to be an essential safety device in the smart home monitoring market, and sees a huge opportunity to adapt Göz to other rooms or other environments as a way to provide robust safety with connected devices that are both contemporary and inconspicuous. Given the fact that existing sensor, and cordless connection protocol technologies are more than enough to accomplish the promises of Göz, it is a candidate for the most viable idea in the challenge.


What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

My first validation test plan is about the sensing technologies. There is currently a number of proximity sensing techniques to detect movement, and distance. I have a very close and talented network of software and hardware engineers who could help me build test jigs to analyze which technique would be the most viable one. The initial response from them about the promise of this project was very positive. The verdict is that the current sensor technologies is more than enough for this project.

What skills, input, or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

My secondary research was heavily based on multiple studies and reports of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and also a research report of Consumersadvocate.org, alongside with a number of academic articles. My primary research was mostly qualitative and based on interviewing with family caregivers and senior people. I would love to get more insights from the community regarding the statements. Also, different cultures might (most likely) have different perspectives.

How long has your idea existed?

  • Over 1 year

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a product and experience designer. I lead the innovation and strategy endeavors at 10XBeta, a Brooklyn based product development company. I have designed over a dozen of healthcare products. Also, currently, I am working on my enterprise project, a mirror that only shows when you smile.

6 comments

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Photo of Michael David
Team

Great Idea. I also believe that product design is under-rated and that solutions to most problems are from our environment and the physical goods we interact with on a daily basis. Kudos!!

Photo of Berk İlhan
Team

thanks Michael!

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Interesting idea Berk. I like the idea of an ecosystem and also the fact that there is the possibility of connecting with people before intervening. I'm wondering if this would be possible with a fall in the bath tub. From the research phase, bathrooms indeed appear as a place where a lot of falls take place. More generally, indoor falls seem more common than outdoor falls. I'm curious to know more about your primary research with older adults and caregivers. What insights emerge from these conversations? I'm also wondering if you presented your idea to them and how they reacted to it.
Regarding the technical aspects, have you been able to do low resolution prototypes to test the feasibility of the products?
Thanks!

Photo of Berk İlhan
Team

Hi Anne-Laure, thank you very much for the kind message. Bathrooms are indeed very dangerous because we are locked in a room with shiny, hard, slippery surfaces and we don't have our smartphones with us while taking a shower (yet :) ) So many accidents happen. Some interesting insights were: 1-giving users the option to call for help puts them in danger because they might not call help just because they are embarrassed (some research participants claimed this happened to their grandparents). However, Goz automatically calls help, and provides bidirectional tele-communication through the speaker so that embarrassment related issues could be addressed as the help is on the way. I haven't built a working prototype yet. However, I am surrounded by engineer friends and colleagues who can't wait to help me build a working prototype.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Berk!

I really like how your idea is not intrusive.

What are the next steps in the development of your idea?

Photo of Berk İlhan
Team

Hi Kate, thank you for kind comment! Next steps are:
business model studies,to figure out what kind of model would work the best considering the different behavioral patterns of the senior people and their adult children in terms of shopping. Also to understand who would be key stakeholders, partners, and distribution channels, etc.

A huge next step is working with software and hardware engineers to build a working prototype.

Thanks!