Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Ergonomic

The HiRise for iMac computer stand

While many of us buy stands in order to raise our computer monitors to eye level, most of those come preset to a certain height. The HiRise for iMac, however, which incorporates the base of any size of iMac or other Apple display, allows users to choose from six different height settings.  Read More

The SlingShot serves as both a smartphone videographer's hand grip, and as a mini tripod

There must be a kazillion mini tripods for smartphones out there, and probably about half as many ergonomic hand grips designed to minimize shaky video. WOXOM’s SlingShot device, however, combines the two – it’s a smartphone hand grip that can be converted into a table top tripod.  Read More

The Lizard Kross Scramble brings minimalist design to the hiking shoe market

Barefoot shoes have been one of the biggest stories in running over the past few years. Their somewhat controversial benefits include encouraging better dynamics and preventing certain types of leg stresses and injuries. It's not clear if those benefits will transfer over to hiking, but at least one manufacturer is giving it a shot. The new Lizard Kross Scramble is a minimalist hiking shoe designed for trails and rock approaches.  Read More

ADAPTable is comprised of six wooden sections which can be slid into the most suitable pos...

Many of us who spend our working days at a desk have jobs that require a wide range of tools for a wide range of tasks. This means that a workstation can quickly become overwhelmed with objects placed within easy reach. The Tambour Table is one attempt at addressing this problem, but design company MAMIKIM & Co. has tried to create a desk that is adaptable for a range of working environments, with different sections suitable for different jobs. If you have ever wanted to own a giant sliding tile puzzle in the form of a desk, then ADAPTable may be just for you.  Read More

The LimbIC chair is uses two carbon-fiber cradles (Photo: Inno-Motion)

One thing that’s generally expected of a chair is that it stays still. True, it might rock or swivel or recline, but if we’re sitting still, we expect the chair to do likewise. Dr. Patrik A. Künzler, head of the Swiss start-up Inno-Motion, disagrees. He has invented the US$8,500 LimbIC - a deliberately wobbly ergonomic chair that's billed as being comfortable to sit in for hours while promoting better health and creativity.  Read More

Walnut Studiolo Frame Handle makes lifting bikes a breeze (Photo: Walnut Studiolo)

Kickstarter – you ask for US$3,500 to launch a product, and you get US$19,584. Gotta love it. Walnut Studiolo, a small design studio in Portland, Oregon, was founded to create leather accessories for bicycles. This time, their Frame Handle makes a bicycle easier to carry up and down steps or over obstacles by providing a grip at the correct ergonomic angle above the bike's center of gravity. The result is you have a comfortable grip for lifting with your whole body, just like a suitcase. Your comfort while carrying is enhanced, and you have more control over your bicycle in close quarters.  Read More

Designer Martin Keen, with his Locus semi-standing work station

With digital technology making its presence felt in an increasing number of fields, more and more people are finding that their formerly somewhat-active jobs now entail their sitting at a computer all day. Unfortunately, as most of us are by now aware, sitting for long periods of time has been shown to significantly raise a person’s chances of dying from cardiovascular, metabolic, or other types of disease. While stand-up work stations have been offered as an alternative, standing for too long can also take a toll on our well-being. Focal Upright Furniture has attempted to reached a best-of-both-worlds middle ground, however, with its new Locus work station.  Read More

David Brothers has spent the last 18 months researching, designing and producing an ergono...

Much of today's modern workforce has been touched by the helping hand of ergonomic science. In a former professional life, I remember colleagues regularly disappearing on day trips to specialist furniture suppliers arranged by the Health and Safety department to be measured and fitted for a new office chair. Professional musicians, on the other hand, are often required to make do with whatever seating is provided by the concert hall or theater, as if all instruments and players had exactly the same requirements. After spending 18 months studying the needs of various players, David Brothers has now designed an adjustable three-legged seating solution to help promote good playing posture and correct breathing techniques.  Read More

Philips' new ErgoSensor display monitors its user's posture, and advises them if they shou...

Anyone who regularly uses a computer for long periods of time can likely attest to the importance of proper computer-use posture. Sitting in the wrong position, or having your keyboard or screen improperly located, can result in strain to the eyes, hands, wrists, neck or back. While we may try to establish a good pose when first sitting down at our machine, it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in what we’re doing, and gradually slip into our old ergonomically-unfriendly hunches or slouches. That’s where Philips’ new ErgoSensor display steps in – it actually monitors the user, and lets them know when they need to correct their posture.  Read More

A prototype of the ShopInstantShoe system's Shoptool shoe-molding machine (Photo: IBV)

Women will sometimes sacrifice the comfort and well-being of their feet, in order to wear fashionable shoes – it’s reached the point of becoming a TV sit-com cliché. The European ShopInstantShoe consortium, however, is looking to put an end to that scenario. No, the group doesn’t want to ban fashionable shoes, but it has been developing technology for making them more wearer-friendly. The result is a system that could be installed in shoe stores, which would allow women to get shoes custom-fitted to their feet, on the spot.  Read More

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