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Walkane - Updated User journey + Interview + prototype

A cane which splits into two for better support

Photo of Barkha
23 11

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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?

My idea enables older adults to walk around the house and outside without a fear of falling. It has a special prong and grip feature that most likely will prevent falls even while getting in and out of a sitting position. It is stylish, design language is to promote aging adults to carry it around without being embarrassed by the fact that they are carrying a walking stick. Walkane is also designed keeping in mind today's generation that will age eventually.

Aging adults mostly start using support devices like canes, poles, walkers etc after a fall has occurred. My idea and design is to prevent a fall by encouraging adults to have Walkane around them as they physically began to age. I have constantly been in touch with people for feedback in terms of form and design to understand the interest in use even before a fall happens. The circular handle design makes it easier for people with joint pain to use walkane as it equally divides the pressure along the cane. I have added collapsable prongs to walkane, which is a combination of two canes fixed together to be used as one or opened to be used as one in each hand for better back and body support. My attached presentation is meant to explain its features in detail.

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

I will 3D print or CNC the parts to get a better understanding of the form, support, and functionality.

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

Focussing on the most important features and minimalizing the concept to promote ease of use and to make accessible for future aging adults will be the guidance I need. More the merrier!

How long has your idea existed?

  • 4 months - 1 year

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual

Tell us about your work experience:

I am learner at heart, I am currently doing my masters in design at San Francisco State University as well as teaching a class. My background is in furniture and interior design, curiosity to understand people and their relation to space and objects is the reason I love what I do.

How would you describe this idea while in an elevator with someone?

It would be amazing to have a well designed, good looking cane which is easy hold and handle as well as can expand into two canes when there is a need for more support. Walkane is exactly designed to do that, plus the special handle design helps to not put too much pressure on the hand grip. Walkane is friendly to use by the older adults and not look like an equipment for the handicapped.

How does your idea demonstrate our Criteria of Affordability?

Walkane could possibly eliminate the need for extra canes and poles that older adults use today at different times of the day for various tasks. Keeping that in mind, Walkane could prove to be a smart and an affordable choice.

How does your idea demonstrate or plan to demonstrate scalability?

Dr. June Fisher has been a big supporter of walkane because of her walking trouble due to a fall. Also, a couple of other older adults that I showed this idea to were very interested to see it build. Knowing that, I think Walkane has the capability to be used by a large number of people. Not only older adults but also people with injuries that need support.

How do you plan to measure the impact of your idea?

I believe user reviews and feedback is good determinator of the impact of my idea. Also, the fact that this could be a one stop solution for a cane which is physically supportive in all areas around the home as well as outside is huge impact towards the fear of falling.

What are your immediate next steps after the challenge?

Find more people to test it out, make more detailed changes as per user reviews. Work on the mechanical aspects of Walkane.
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Attachments (4)

aging at place presentation - WALKANE - barkha sisodia.pdf

A presentation about Walkane in detail, from empathy to concept.

Dr. June Fisher + Prototype.mp4

Interview with Dr. June Fisher and Walkane prototype

Userjourney-WALKANE.mp4

Walkane user journey - Use case scenario

23 comments

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Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Barkha 

Thank you for all your hard work in this challenge and dedication.

All of the ideas posts are locked but the comments section is still open, so please feel free to look at other ideas and comment on them, seek feedback on your idea etc.

I know I have asked many ideators this question but I am asking again as some ideas pivoting in the challenge. Would you say your idea is Most Viable or Most Promising? How would the incentives associated with that Award (Most Viable/Most Promising) be helpful for you?

Photo of Barkha
Team

Hi Kate,
I would say my idea is most promising as it could definitely use the incentives related to that category, ideo design services to refine the functionality as well as AARP services for practicality. As mentioned in the comments below and my conversations with older adults, this idea can definitely be a game changer for preventing falls with a quick intuitive action of increasing support when required.

Thanks,
Barkha

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