The project does not exactly reinvent the wheel, but it sets out to improve on a device that is almost as old. The traditional walking cane is undergoing a design revolution that draws inspiration from the latest developments in ergonomics and even aerospace engineering. Isowalk, currently fundraising on Indiegogo, is a new design aimed at taking the walking cane to a new level of sophistication, besides making it more user-friendly and safer. Its designer also wants to enable it with wireless technology and create different models for different needs.
One of the key components of the design concept behind Isowalk is its center of gravity, which results in a pendulum effect to help eliminate the physical effort to advance. It features a semi-spherical handle that reduces the strain on hand, wrist and arm. The grip can be adjusted to suit both right and left handed users.
To increase smoothness, the designers incorporated a shock relief system that helps the cane adjust to the user’s weight and the pressure they apply when using it. The device also features a stronger, foot-like tip that provides an expanded point of contact with the ground, increasing stability and, consequently, safety. The overall structure is supported by thin carbon shafts, a material that surpasses steel in resilience but is lighter than aluminum.
Isowalk designer Ron Goldberg hopes the Indiegogo campaign will enable him to further develop smart models that are enabled with wireless technology to link the device to customized apps. The smart models would be able to send out alerts and monitor the user’s performance and location, similar to the Qardio sensor we covered earlier this month.
The Indiegogo campaign was launched on the occasion of Isowalk's unveiling during the CE Week Expo in New York between June 26 and 27. An Isowalk it costs US$125.
If the campaign is successful, Isowalk will be launched at the January 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Indiegogo supporters will be the first to get their items while the general public will be able to buy it online around that time.
Goldberg makes his pitch in the video below.