Scroll to the bottom for the latest updates on Geco Hub and their Kickstarter campaign!
At Living with Disability we are constantly on the lookout for new innovations and inventions which could be used to make living with a disability easier. We support universal and design for all ideas that can be used freely or may be particularly useful for disabled people. Geco Hub is an innovative storage system solution which is currently looking for funding through Kickstarter. We are supporting Geco Hub and it’s creator Simon Lyons as we think it is a fantastic looking design .
What is Geco Hub? “A home for things without a home”
This video is the best place to start to give you an idea of what Geco Hub is and what it can offer:
It is the brainchild of Simon Lyons and his company Version 22 and they’re looking for £35,000 through Kickstarter to get the project off the ground. The Kickstarter is due to end on 24th April 2014.
Geco Hub up Close
A range of Geco Hub elements
Geco Hub is extremely easy to use and fit into your home in any way you see fit. It can be simply mounted to any surface using screws or adhesive pads and you can even fit it in places where drilling is impossible.
It can be assembled by hand in a few short minutes and the flexible components used to hold your items in place can be bought in a number of bright and innovative colours, one of the key things which makes them an ideal option for people living with visual impairments.
The Geco Hub system also benefits from being easily expandable. Each standard unit is 5×5 but other units of the same size can be added to create a larger storage space. Each unit uses its own elements to hold things in place with no need pins reducing the risk of stab injuries as well as damage to paper items.
This handy GIF shows off some of the different variations of Geco Hub you could try.
As the photo below shows the Geco Hub isn’t just for light, paper items though and it can hold a huge amount despite its seemingly small size:
The Geco Hub holds a range of heavy items
Geco Hub for Disabilities
The Geco Hub has a wide range of different uses for people living with disabilities. The bright design is ideal for people who have visual impairments but equally its wall positioning makes it easier for finding things which can be a problem when they’re laid flat on a table surface.
It’s also a great option for people who have joint pain or problems and find bending down difficult. Storing all important items at eye level means they can be reached for without needing to bend or stretch uncomfortably.
The Geco Hub is also an easy to position storage device which could be perfect for wheelchair users keeping all those key items within easy reach. Rather than standing eye level the Geco Hub could be easily placed at reach-level whilst seated.
British Design and Production
Geco Hub – Made in Britain
As supporters of British design above all we are pleased to see that Geco Hub is committed to using high quality suppliers in the UK which we definitely see as a hugely positive commitment for British industry.
The Geco Hub idea has been brewing away in the mind of its inventor since 2010. During Simon’s time at university and on graduation he has been dedicated almost solely to preparing the product to be ready for a launch on Kickstarter and we wish him every success with achieving the total need to fund the project.
Geco Hub interview on BBC Radio
Simon had a really interesting interview on the radio that gives some more background and information about the product.
The many benefits of this item means we simply had to support it. We hope it goes on to be as successful as the Sensory Stories project we backed last year. We hope our involvement may go some way in pushing Geco Hub closer to its target. So if you want to be part of this exciting project, dig deep and get on board and be one of the first people to own a Geco Hub!
Unfortunately the first attempt by Version 22 and Geco Hub on Kickstarter wasn’t a success but this hasn’t got them down – in fact they’re back for more and relaunching their Kickstarter attempt today: 29th July 2014!
The product has been updated, there have been changes and new developments but the core principles of the product remain the same, as they say themselves:
A lot has changed since the first time around but Geco Hub’s core benefits aren’t among them. Every step of the way along the path from the last campaign to this one I have taken the utmost care to ensure that Geco Hub is just as easy to assemble, install and use as it ever was and that only the best materials for the job are used. In fact, through doing all of this Geco Hub is now better than ever!
At Living with Disability we are still 100% behind Geco Hub and are very hopeful that this time they’ll receive everything they need to produce their versatile storage system. It is such a versatile development that can benefit people from people of all walks of life and we want it to be out there for sale for anyone who wants it! There’s even a new video showing off its perks:
We hope you get behind the campaign and to find out more visit their brand new Kickstarter campaign page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/version22design/geco-hub-stop-losing-in-style
Touch Screen Feedback Technology has Huge Potential for Visually Impaired People
Disney are creating a tablet screen with tactile feedback that will help visually impaired people.
Disney create an innovation in touchscreen technology
Touchscreens get better all the time but researchers at Disney have thrown another innovation into the mix. The research team at the American mass media corporation have discovered an amazing way to generate tactile feedback on a smooth glass display. With Google already making leaps and bound with their Google Glass it’s exciting to see other companies making headway too.
This new technology offers huge potential for people living with visual impairments. It turns a touchscreen into a physically accessible and tactile object. It gives huge functionality – imagine a touchscreen keyboard that you can physically feel each key. This research could be truly revolutionary.
Electrovibration and Haptic Technology
Who knows where this will lead next! The research team discovered that the sensation of feeling any bump on any surface came mainly from the skin on the fingertip being pulled and stretched out of shape as it passed over the bump. They have then been able to replicate this exact sensation on a perfectly flat surface and this is achieved through electrovibration.
Electrovibration can be used to create electrostatic forces which then create friction against the finger creating that touch sensation. This is just one half of the research however.
The other half of this exciting development is a unique algorithm the Disney research team developed which generates these frictional forces dependent upon whatever is on any given screen. They have created an algorithm which will show stairs as a series of rigid steps whilst a ball would have a gradually curving surface. The technique is little more than a very clever trick but as far as anyone can see it works!
Haptic Technology and Visual Impairments
The initial thoughts when considering how this new development can be used have led people to think about gaming, interactive touchable story books and most importantly revolutionising touchscreen devices for people living with visual impairments. The display of a touchscreen tablet or phone could have all the tactile functionality of physical items around the home without any additional bulk.
Mobile devices are more popular than ever before and those living with disabilities may find themselves more reliant on them than others. This technology could truly take the usefulness of smartphones for people with disabilities to another level and there is scope for helping people with visual impairments navigating their environment with more understanding and comfort.
This is research Disney have been working on for many years and it seems they’ve finally cracked it. We’re excited to see where this technology goes next and whether it’s long before it’s available to be tried and tested. For now we’ve got this video which shows the technology in action:
If you have any ideas of how this technology may help you, please leave a comment below.
For the Disney Research page about this technology – click here
The lite cup night light is a handy drinking aid for night time drinks and hydrating in the dark. The built in light and non-spill features make it a useful bedside cup.
At Living with Disability, we like to take into consideration the opinions and experiences of the blogging community and anybody living with disabilities who has discovered a great item that makes their life a little bit easier. We’ve previously discussed products as recommended by Tourettes Hero such as simple wrist straps and life changing weighted blankets and today we’re looking at an item recommended by Danni, found on Twitter as @Dannilion, a blogger who describes herself as ‘quite disabled’ and that ‘finding products that make life easier and increase my independence is very important to me’. With this in mind, Danni wrote a blog post all about her favourite items including the seemingly simple Lite Cup Night Light . At Living with Disability we’d never heard of the Litecup before so taking a closer look at it, we agreed with Danni, it really is a great product.
Litecup – Night Light and No Spill Cup in One
The Litecup is a clever little cup which features a non spill lid and a light in its base, which comes on automatically in the dark. Brilliant if you’re looking for your drink late at night and avoids the risk of spills. There are many different reasons that this product could be a great addition to your range of kitchen accessories and Danni explains that she likes it specifically because of its non-spill top. This allows her to drink whilst laid down as there are days where she finds it hard to leave bed and we believe many of our readers will recognise this experience. The Litecup comes in a range of different colours so you can pick a lid that suits your personal preference and it’s a great, affordable product which can make drinking much easier and less challenging.
Reviews of the product praise its robust build and ease of use. They also rate how long lasting the light is and how it can be knocked over without causing any spills. The Litecup is a great product which we believe many people could benefit from and we thank Dannilion for bringing it to our attention.
Living with a visual impairment can make what used to seem very straightforward suddenly very difficult. Simple things like getting out and about and even telling the time can become more difficult and hard to manage without support. However, maintaining an independent and active lifestyle is not something that has to be sacrificed because of partial or even total sigh loss. Thinking back to telling the time, this is of course an essential requirement throughout the working day and the UK’s sight loss and visual impairment charity RNIB have once again created a product which solves this problem. Like with their Liquid Level Indicators and Talking Tin Lids, the RNIB approve products which they believe are able to have a positive impact on the lives of people living with a range of visual impairments. What’s more, their watches range has recently been extended to include children’s models and there are some really great designs soon to be launched.
The Talking Watches range from RNIB, in partnership with Lifemax strives to provide a range of different and attractive watches for those living with visually impairments. Some products provided for those living with disabilities have the stigma of appearing clunky and clinical but as the photos show, this range of watches are both fashionable and completely suitable for every day use. The watch speaks in a clear, audible voice providing both time and date information when requested and the analogue or digital face of the designs is also clear and large for those who still maintain a degree of sight.
Positive Customer Reviews
Customers who have purchased products from the RNIB talking watches range have been extremely impressed with the results, with customers highlighting that the well designed products are no more expensive than a regular watch but have considerable extra functionality. What’s more, the product range includes designs from the most simple to more complex so you can choose a feature rich model if you like your gadgets or keep it simple if you just want a standard timepiece. Click in the below boxes to purchase your own talking watch from RNIB and look at the whole range.
SALE – RNIB Talking Atomic Watch – Metallic Bracelet with clasp [Electronics]
Atomic Talking Watch With Leather Strap
MSF Ladies Quartz Talking Wristwatch on Stainless Steel Bracelet strap with clasp – adjustable
Lifemax Talking Digital Watch extra large LCD
Talking LCD Analogue and Digital Watch
Ladies Talking Watch with Steel Finish – Leather Strap
Perfectly Designed for those living with visual and auditory disabilities
The BT Big Button 200
The Big Button telephone is not a new invention and has been developed and redeveloped for many years. Their design is perfectly in tune with what users with visual and auditory impairments require and the latest design has come from BT in the form of the Big Button 200. Exhibited in the New Product Showcase at Naidex 2012, this new BT phone has built upon the original design and perfected it further. Keeping in tune with current affairs, BT have also refined the appearance of the Big Button so it looks a lot less clunky and oversized than it used to. However, all functionality remains the same or improved.
Big Button 200 – refined yet functional
The Big Button legacy has always been to ensure comfortable and easy use of the telephone without any barriers. Large buttons and a loud audio boost option make the product hearing aid compatible and also popular with those living with degenerative visual impairments. The new 200 model has been developed to incorporate all previous features but in sleeker design and also an increase in the gaps between the buttons as it makes selecting a single button much simpler. The 200 model is also equipped with one touch buttons at the top of the new design, meaning you can quick call any numbers that are specifically programmed in as speed dial numbers, great for ensuring immediate access to your nearest and dearest or emergency contacts. Mobile phones are of course more popular and mean you can communicate when out and about but the majority of people still use their landline, especially for longer calls and those that get expensive such as phoning the bank.
The below video shows all the features of a standard Big Button phone, although not specifically the brand new BT Big Button 200 model:
If you’re interested in purchasing the newest big button phone on the market, click in the below box:
We had this tweeted suggestion
@KanduGroup @lwdisability also suggest Trillium Multipurpose phone as it has switch jack at rear to allow one press answer/speed dialling
Adjust the height of your furniture in a few short seconds
If you need to adjust the height of your furniture or bed because of back pain or hoisting, these furniture raisers could be a big help.
There could be many reasons behind your need to modify and adapt your furniture, be that your bed or sofas and it’s understandable that the cost of brand new beds and sofas is not something that’s readily affordable most of the time. Whether you live with back pain or related issues, or perhaps have a mobility related condition that means you need your furniture at a more easy to access level, Langham Furniture Raisers can help. Simple to design and easy to fit, these small adapters can make all the difference and received positive feedback when exhibited at the Naidex New Product Showcase this year.
A Range of Styles and Designs
Langham Raisers fitted to a Sofa
The Langham Furniture Raisers can simply be attached to the feet of your existing sofa or bed, giving it some additional height and aiding your access to your furniture. They can even be used to raise tables and other furniture if necessary. What’s more, they come in a range of designs which mean you can match them to your existing furniture with both multipurpose and Wooden Cube Style Raisers available. They come in different heights so you can gain up to an extra 4″ on your furniture’s original height. What’s more the latest design come with SureFix technology which is a unique double grip design which ensures a safe and secure hold. As this video shows, there are many ways these items can be used:
The range of designs and styles means you don’t have to install some clinical or badly designed product into your home and you can actually find designs which suit the décor of your home and you won’t even notice them after a short while.
Holiday away? Take a set of furniture raisers with you!
Many people worry about the height of beds and chair while they are away on holiday. These furniture risers are small and light enough to take with you when you travel abroad on take a shorter trip away from home. Keep a spare set in the boot of the car!
With many happy customers already benefiting from their furniture raisers if you feel you need a little height and don’t want to fork out for a brand new three piece suite or bed, this is a fantastic alterative:
Raise Its – 8 Pack Furniture Risers – Black – For the Bed, Desk, Table or Dresser – Great for Eliminating Back Pain or f
Raise Its – 8 Pack Furniture Risers – Black – For the Bed, Desk, Table or Dresser – Great for Eliminating Back Pain or f
Living with a visual disability shouldn’t mean you miss out on reading your favourite newspapers, books or magazines. If you have impaired vision, there is no reason you can’t benefit from this great product: an illuminated stand magnifier, meaning whatever you need or want to look at can be even further magnified, making it clearer to see.
As well as reading for pleasure, there are many occasions where you might need to be able to read something and it can be frustrating to need other people’s support, with a stand magnifier, you can read your own bills, letters and such like and act on them independently without the need of support from others around you.
Stand Magnifiers: adjustable and illuminated
There are a huge range of magnifiers on the market but the most effective ones are complete with LED lighting and a sturdy adjustable stand of their own, meaning you can use them with ease whatever you want to read. This video shows a particularly popular brand in use:
These models were originally designed for use by crafters and those working with small parts but they have become more popular in the disability sector as people have realised how valuable they can be for those living with visual disabilities. Some models come complete with neck cord rather than a stand and this is just as useful when trying to read or decipher something. They can even be used for completing crosswords and puzzles.
Portable pocket devices
In addition to the larger home models available, you can also get illuminated magnifiers small enough to fit on a key ring, brilliant for when you’re out and about and you might need to check things such as price tickets etc. Rather than asking a shop assistant or fellow shopper for help, you can simply use your magnifier to check out the cost of something yourself.
If you’re interested in purchasing a magnifier, click in one of the boxes below:
At Living with Disability, we think it’s important to look at the products which assist people with different disabilities. Previously, we looked at Talking Tin Lids, which can be a great aid for anybody with a visual impairment and today, we’re looking more closely at Liquid Level indicators, which can be a huge help and reduce risks in the home.
A Liquid Level Indicator in use
A Liquid Level Indicator is a RNIB approved item which indicates two different levels of liquid via both beeps and vibrations. When the liquid has reached the total limit of the beaker, glass or cup in question, the beeps will speed up and the vibrations will be continuous, informing user that the liquid has reached its limit. This is a really ingenious invention which can help avoid any nasty spills and even potential burns from hot drinks.
The Liquid Level indicator is battery powered and can be attached to any drinking vessel. The prongs which indicate the level will begin to make the sounds and vibrations when they are reached so you can be assured of being in control. It’s safe to be used in the fridge and it’s users and are extremely pleased with how well it works. The design is extremely intuitive and so it makes a great gift for people of any age. Customers are impressed with how user friendly the product is and how it helps eliminate mess and stains from spilled drinks.
This video shows exactly how the product works and exactly how easy it is to use.
If you’re interested in purchasing a liquid level indicator for yourself or for a friend simply click in the box below:
You can use your Talking Tin Lid on any food container
If you have a visual disability, then having your kitchen set up in the right way is essential to avoid the many risks that could occur. The RNIB and other charities work tirelessly to provide gadgets and inventions which can make the kitchen a safer place and somewhere you can independently access everything you need. One of their inventions is the talking tin lids, a truly great idea.
Talking tin lids are a specially designed recording produce which can help you identify the contents of any food storage container, most obviously tinned foods. They are extremely easy to record messages on and then you know exactly what’s in the tin and also, if there’s space you can record a best before date too, further enhancing your food safety in the home.
The majority of talking tin lids available has a 10 second recording time although you can get them with up to 40 seconds. In 10 seconds it is possible to say “baked beans, best before 15th Dec” for example so you can ensure you know what product is there and how long its shelf life is. The talking tin lids fit comfortably with magnets to all tin lids including ring pull tins but excluding those that have aluminium lids. You can also use them on other containers as they come with a self-adhesive metal disc and/or an elastic strap to attach them with. However, the tin lids are not microwave or freezer safe so keep this in mind whilst using them.
They have received some great reviews from the visually impaired community, many of whom are delighted by the fact that they aid daily independence and make finding ingredients and cooking much easier than before. There are many different options and they can be used on containers of all shapes and sizes due to the additional adhesive choice.
If you are interested in finding out more about Talking Tin Lids please click the box.
About this blog
We like to find new gadgets or uses of existing products that help people with disabilities. We don't like clinical or stigmatising looking ugly products that make your home look like a hospital ward!
Please leave a comment if you would like to submit a review or suggest a product. You can always talk to us on twitter @lwdisability or facebook. We love to be offered guest posts and happily include your bio with blog link or for a chosen cause or charity.
New on the blog we review some gripping aids and gloves that help people with poor grip do sports, therapy and other daily tasks. More here http://livingwithdisability.info/gripping-aids-review-active-hands/
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Good luck Louis, who has set up a “lifestyle marketplace” for disabled people, which will be community led and ethical. Check it out at ethosdisability.com they launched today! Random fact about Louis: he is currently the Men’s European record holder at 100m-800m in his T33 class for wheelchair racing.