Everyone needs exercise and everyone loves to track it—not just the able-bodied.
Image via Wikimedia
In recent years, activity trackers like the Fitbit have exploded in popularity. And while many people (and even a few skeptics) champion their use, the trackers come with a big problem—they’re designed for able-bodied people. That’s why Tyler Hively and the people at Chaotic Moon Studios came up with an awesome new idea: Freewheel, an activity tracker specifically designed for people in wheelchairs.
The Fitbit. Image via Wikimedia
Hively himself uses a wheelchair, and was concerned that his community didn’t have access to activity trackers, reports PSFK. So he approached the design team at Chaotic Moon Studios, where he works, with his idea. The engineers were thrilled: “A couple weeks later BASE [the in-house research team] came back to me with a working prototype and an app and I was basically just showing it to everyone I know.”
The device is simple: Freewheel simply attaches to the wheelchair, without interfering with any movement. It then collects data about acceleration, speed, and height. That information then transfers via Bluetooth to a smartphone or mobile app. Users can track how much exercise they got that day, simply by checking their phone.
Everyone needs exercise, not just the able-bodied. And tracking it (with numbers) provides a strange, satisfying thrill. Freewheel hopes to provide that service to the people who need it the most.