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Process Lighter (Turn The Home into a Fitness Aid!)

Let's encourage and remind our elderly, with subtle lighting indicators, to stay active around the one place they feel safe - their homes!

Photo of Samantak Ray
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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?

This idea was designed by the OpenIDEO Atlanta Chapter! We were inspired by an individual who suffered a fall in the summer of 2016. The fall impacted some motor skills, including walking, + memory loss - but she was motivated to regain her strength through physical therapy and an app to regain activity in damaged parts of her brain. Memory loss can make even moving around the familiar home a danger - so we wanted to design a 'reminder system' to reinstill confidence in the space+mobility.

1) The problem we are trying to solve is to help victims of a fall, regain confidence with the space in which they were once comfortable - usually the home, for most fall victims.

2) We also saw a problem in the current rehabilitation equipment on the market which like most fitness equipment looked bulky, depressing and out of place in any home interior.

3) Additionally most fall victims, have a stigma against possessing or using equipment that makes them seem damaged and dependent on living aids, especially equipment they might have to wear.

Our idea is a product that can live subtly within the home interior space and act as a activity reminder+instruction to the resident to move around their home space throughout the day - keep the blood flowing - and be customizable to a user's activity needs.

The best way to describe our idea is a series of light installations - similar to the phillips hue lightbulb - which can be triggered to glow based on a certain time period, motion detection or preordained -order. The lights are set up on walls, pieces of furniture and walkable areas of the home. 


Throughout the day they light up signaling to the home dweller to keep moving from space to space so that they are not only physically active but become more aware of the path-flow from one space to the other, which can supplement memory loss and prevent a fall stemming from a trip over an unnoticed rug or wire cable.
the lights can be linked to an application on the phone which can show information on the room which the user is in, the room where the next light is as well as an estimate of the number of steps taken today.


Moreover, since it is such a customizable system, the lights can be set up in common places like the kitchen or bathroom to make a late night task - in the dark - seem less daunting. Ex: The user uses the app to specify their task: 'drinking water' and the light-system detects the user's current position and brightens all the lights that would be in their path to get to the kitchen, so they can quench their thirst!

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

Some 'smart lights' and a manual controller ex: a caretaker who sets it up throughout the home with the patient in the loop. We would want to set it up in spaces that the user frequents like couches in the living room, their bed, kitchen but also in a not so common space like their laundry room. The caretaker will control the lights in a pre-ordained pattern, noting down the user's comments on following the routine of movement from space to space, data which can be used to refine the system.

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

1) Input in terms of building a product with an aesthetic that can exist subtly in different interior spaces. 2) Guidance on physical therapy, and recommended activity levels for elderly citizens going through rehabilitative therapy. 3) Introductions to individuals who would be open to helping test out prototypes in their homes.

How long has your idea existed?

  • 0-3 months

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm
  • An OpenIDEO Outpost or Chapter

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a design researcher . I dive deep into conducting usability studies for in-development products and prototyping (augmented reality specialist). I'm also a design-thinking educator and conduct workshops in the Atlanta community. I'm also a Snapchat Storyteller! www.linkedin.com/in/samantakray

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