The future of wheelchair technology is exciting, to say the least. There are companies hard at work creating some pretty incredible chairs – including inventions that may allow wheelchair-bond patients to walk again, even if they are completely paralyzed from the waist down.
We are going to take a look at future wheelchair concept designs, as well as the latest wheelchairs available for purchase.
4 of the Latest Advancements in Wheelchair Technology
1. Sleek, Sophisticated & Lightweight – The CarbonBlack Chair
Advertised as the ultimate lightweight wheelchair, the CarbonBlack wheelchair is advancing mobility. Made out of carbon fiber, this wheelchair is sleek and sophisticated and far from bulky, these wheelchairs are increasingly popular amongst fashion conscious individuals. It’s the miracle materials that make this chair so user-friendly while reducing strain on the user. It won’t hurt your hands and it won’t leave marks around your home or scratch your car – it’s one of the most practical chairs to date.
2. Advancements to Handrim Technology
Handrim technology has become an important component of wheelchair user design, and for good reason. After all, you use this part of the wheelchair to propel yourself forward and backwards countless times each day.
One of the more advanced features we are seeing are ergonomic handrims that make it more comfortable to propel yourself. An ergonomic handrim has a different shape from a traditional handrim, it is better designed to fit the actual curve and posture of a real-life hand.
If you’ve used a wheelchair for a long time, you know that it can damage your skin over time. This all changes with the use of ergonomic handrims because the pressure on your hands is greatly reduced and the energy is produced at a lower point.
3. Shifting the Focus to Vertical Seat Height
Everybody has different measurements – and the exact measurements of your body can make a big difference as to how comfortably you fit in a wheelchair. The way you sit in a chair will impact how you propel forward. In-depth analysis has found that backrest angle has little to no effect on shoulder average and peak movements when using a chair. The only way to benefit the user is to change the vertical seat height – as the horizonal changes showed little to no results. As a result, these specs can be used to improve comfort and pressure modulation.
4. The HXC
Athlete Aaron Fotheringham and industrial designer Joven De La Vega combined minds to create a BMX-like wheelchair that is designed for hardcore sporting activities. While this chair isn’t built for comfort, it is built for fun! It also promises more sporty wheelchairs to come in the future, albeit, hopefully more comfortable ones.
4 Future Concept Wheelchair Designs to Get Excited About
1. The Two-Person Wheelchair
One of the things most wheelchair users complain about? The way people stare at them when they use one. Inventor Alexandre Pain has created a two-person wheelchair with room for an able-bodied individual to hop on board. The result? An awesome electric ride fit for two that makes wheelchair users feel more included with their company, while causing people to stare with envy.
2. Making Any Wheelchair Electric
The NEWS concept is a clip-on accessory that’ll transform any regular wheelchair into an electric wheelchair. It locks into the wheelchair wheels and can be controlled using a joystick. It is intended to make the benefits of electric wheelchairs available to everyone.
3. LED Lights Make Wheelchairs Safer
Safety is an important concept and oftentimes wheelchairs become invisible at night. That’s why illuminated wheelchairs may start popping onto the scene soon with LED lights that power the rotating wheels.
4. Forget Wheelchairs, Exoskeleton Wants You to Walk Again
Exoskeleton is striving to make wheelchairs obsolete one day. They’ve already allowed people paralyzed from the waist down to walk again by designing a wearable exoskeleton. The device relies on a combination of weight-activated sensors and battery-powered motors that allow people bond to a wheelchair to learn how to walk again.
See how it works in the video below:
What Does This Tell Us About the Future of Wheelchairs?
Wheelchairs have come a long way and they continue to progress in design, functionality, and comfort. There’s a lot to look forward to when it comes to the wheelchairs of tomorrow.