Hackathon Zurich takes place on 22-24 October 2021: In 48 hours, engineers, designers, physical therapists and people living with disabilities will collaborate, experiment with new technology and develop solutions to issues faced by people with disabilities every day. Elitac Wearables will make available its haptic feedback hardware, the ScienceSuit, for the experiments.
“We are great believers in the power of haptic feedback wearables to improve the lives of people with medical conditions”, explains Elitac Wearables CEO, Merijn Klarenbeek. “Whether this is to replace or augment impaired senses, reduce sensory overload, or solve any of the often-neglected issues that people with disabilities must confront on a daily basis. That’s why we were honoured to be asked to contribute one of our ScienceSuits to this inspiring initiative from HackaHealth.
“HackaHealth is a community that fosters the development of custom solutions for people with disabilities in order to improve their daily lives. Among others, by organising these 48-hour Hackathons. The ScienceSuit really is the perfect tool for a rapid prototyping challenge such as this. It’s a set of haptic feedback hardware and textile components that’s very easy to use, customise and integrate with other components. Even in as little as 48 hours, it’s possible to develop a workable prototype wearable with haptic feedback. So we look forward to seeing the results of the challenge!”
During the event, ‘challengers’ (people with disabilities) will work with ‘hackers’ (designers, engineers, therapists, etc.) to solve a specific problem the challengers face in daily life. They will have 48 hours to immerse themselves in the user’s issue, brainstorm solutions, pick one and develop a prototype.
The Elitac Wearables ScienceSuit will be used by the hackers and challengers, for example David, who is wheelchair-bound and would like to have a device with (haptic) feedback that helps him stretch his leg and hip muscles. This is important to prevent muscle tightness and soreness.
Next to that, there are 5 other challenges: from improving navigation and walking aids to improving the experience and safety of using a wheelchair. Team members are encouraged to pursue their project and develop it after the hackathon. Or, share their results through open-source channels to benefit other communities.