The Stanford Center on Longevity has named “Ride Rite,” a student entry from Virginia Tech University, as the first-place winner of the 2017-2018 Design Challenge competition. The team presented its computer-integrated bicycle handle to win the $10,000 grand prize, beating out over 75 entries during the course of the competition. The Ride Rite design includes features such as a blind spot warning, navigational information, fall detection and automated reporting to an emergency contact that are intended to allow older adults to continue biking longer and more safely.
The second-place winner was “Gesturecise” from the Indian Institute of Technology in Guwahati and third place went to “Gather” from San Francisco State University.
This year’s Design Challenge competition was focused on designs that promote lifelong healthy behaviors. The competition is open to all university students from around the world who want to design products and services that optimize long life. All finalists receive $1,000 to build a prototype; travel expenses are covered to bring the teams to Stanford University to present their designs to a panel of industry, academic and government leaders. Additionally, finalists spend the day after the competition at the Stanford Graduate School of Business to receive entrepreneurial guidance on taking their product/service to market.
Target is a platinum sponsor of the challenge. “At Target, we believe great design has the power to simplify our guests’ lives and solve everyday problems, in addition to offering inspiration and fun. Each of the eight finalists clearly took this to heart and presented thoughtfully crafted product and service ideas with real potential to make a positive impact,” says Laysha Ward, executive vice president and chief external engagement officer, Target.
Following is a closer look at this year’s winners and finalists:
FIRST PRIZE: Ride Rite, Virginia Tech University
Ride Rite is a bicycle handlebar designed for older adults who have started to lose confidence in their ability to safely go on bike trips. The handlebars sweep backwards slightly to decrease the distance that the user has to reach to grip them. An integrated computer provides a number of features; including navigation, brake lights, blind spot warnings and an emergency system that automatically detects falls and contacts a person of the rider’s choice if the rider does not respond to prompt for status after a fall.
SECOND PRIZE: Gesturecise, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati
Gesturecise detects body gestures through a computer webcam and prompts the user to stretch and move if they have been sedentary for a long period. It uses negative reinforcement to facilitate behavior by locking the screen if user does not perform the exercise. Its artificial intelligence features detect if the user is performing the exercises at regular intervals. By giving cues through adjusting screen brightness, it gives users the freedom to decide when to exercise. It also gives suggestions for specific exercises, and learns the best and most suitable exercises for the individual.
THIRD PRIZE: Gather, San Francisco State University
Gather is a universal garden helper designed to allow people of all ages, abilities, and disabilities to garden and to promote social engagement for a happier and healthier lifestyle. The helper takes the form of a movable cart that incorporates support for walking and sitting, storage for gardening tools and a modular design that allows the gardener to configure the cart to their own particular needs. The product was named “Gather” to inspire people to gather around the device, promoting social engagement for its users.
Sources: Press materials received from the company.