Author Topic: Product design help wanted please  (Read 702 times)

noname

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Product design help wanted please
« on: 14:45:13, 08/09/20 »
I am an A level student thinking of making a product such as a walking stick for night time walkers in towns and countryside (to encourage new people to take up basic excersize, even in winter)  focusing around visibility and helping the user see and feel safe. Are there any features, materials or general thoughts that you experienced walkers would want me to consider if you were to buy a product like this. Any comments appreciated
Thanks

gunwharfman

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Re: Product design help wanted please
« Reply #1 on: 15:41:26, 08/09/20 »
One issue to think about, if you are trying to come up with a walking stick design that shows itself to the public in the dark that you have a visual difficulty, would that person become more vulnearable to the unwanted attention of certain people that you definately don't want to meet in the dark?

All I can think of is the handles, either designed with traditional 'pull down' handles or the Pacerpoles type which are more 'push down.' I personally would go for the Pacerpoles. the poles themselves could also 'glow in the dark' which takes me back to my first paragraph, would a visually impaired person really want to bring greater attention to themslves? I'm not to keen on the 'twist to grip' locking mechanisms either. The last time I used my aluminium hiking sticks a friendly farmer let me use his vice to unlock one of them. I think water had got into the tube and the nylon exanding mechanism and the aluminium tubing just stuck together like glue.

Sorry I can't be more helpful. As designs go I'd love to see hiking gaiters redesigned, mine work but I personally would like to be able to buy gaiters that are designed to fit under or over my walking trousers and I would like them to be 'snap on' as well rather than zip on. Gaiters are a pet hate of mine.

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Product design help wanted please
« Reply #2 on: 15:52:16, 08/09/20 »
I assume by visibility you are trying to make the user more visible to traffic. This wouldnít really be needed in the countryside. There is already a very wide range of walking poles and sticks on the market. How would your product differentiate itself from the crowd? What problem will it solve that the others donít? I donít really see poles or sticks as the obvious area for improving visibility.

cornwallcoastpathdweller

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Re: Product design help wanted please
« Reply #3 on: 18:00:11, 08/09/20 »
I am an A level student thinking of making a product such as a walking stick for night time walkers in towns and countryside (to encourage new people to take up basic excersize, even in winter)  focusing around visibility and helping the user see and feel safe. Are there any features, materials or general thoughts that you experienced walkers would want me to consider if you were to buy a product like this. Any comments appreciated
Thanks


Thinking more town than countryside, but check out 'puddle lights' on posh modern cars.  Maybe something similar to provide light to where ones feet are going i.e. puddles (doh) or pot holes etc. Nothing to bulky mind.
one step then another then another then a bench - please?

noname

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Re: Product design help wanted please
« Reply #4 on: 09:15:46, 09/09/20 »
Thanks for your time and ideas.


Just to clarify a few points, by 'visibility' my main ideas were for people new to walking (possibly walking from home into surrounding roads or countryside) feeling safe on unlit country roads by being given a source of light to see by in darkness, and being able to be visible to the occasional car, i was also considering that the product would be more innovative or at least different to a basic walking stick as i was thinking it may be suitable for joggers or those moving quickly over countryside.


The ideas about handles are vary useful, the handle i was thinking of should be able to be used for both support for elderly walkers, but possibly for younger users who may be jogging or walking at speed on uneven terrain or roads for a more thorough excersize. Would this change any of your suggestions now that i have given possible scenarios, uses or intended users. I will attach the design brief that i created to further help any confusion and any 'requirements' of the product you would want to see would be greatly appreciated,


thanks again for your time and help.


Design Brief:
There are lower levels of activity in most adults than considered healthy by the NHS. You should create a product that will encourage solo outdoor exercise in any form, by helping the user to overcome common problems when choosing to exercise in the dark and poor weather, focusing on visibility, stability and fashion, so that the product is not left unused or appearing out of place. It must be useable and aid with basic activities such as running, but also walking, in an on and off road environment. [/font]

fit old bird

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Re: Product design help wanted please
« Reply #5 on: 10:07:42, 09/09/20 »
I live in a village with quite a lot of older people who use walking aids. Not many sticks, but mainly those push along walkers on wheels. I don't see these people out in the dark. I walk most nights, we have street lights, I don't need a stick. I don't think people would choose to walk in an area which is dark if they need a stick, even if it did have a torch in the handle. 


ilona

shortwalker

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Re: Product design help wanted please
« Reply #6 on: 10:32:03, 09/09/20 »
Several years ago a lad we knew put some powerful LED's around his walking stick. They were effective, but were quite heavy for long walks.

richardh1905

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Re: Product design help wanted please
« Reply #7 on: 11:38:26, 09/09/20 »
Welcome to the forum noname.  :)

As a winter evening dog walker, I have been thinking of sticking some reflective tape to the upper section of my walking pole (white at the front, red to the rear), and attaching one or two silicone LED bike lights to it, THIS SORT OF THING, so that traffic can see me (I also attach a rearward pointing red LED light to the dog's harness).

As for me seeing where I am going, I use a head torch. A walking pole moves around too much for a powerful light to be mounted on it.
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

ninthace

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Re: Product design help wanted please
« Reply #8 on: 12:21:14, 09/09/20 »
A good idea would be a 360 degree LED a few inches above the pole tip.  That would make the user visible and allow the user to see where they are placing the pole.  The aft part could be red and the forward part white. A forward looking light on the pole just below the handle could illuminate the route ahead via the planted pole.  The power supply could be mounted in the shaft and the on/off switch could be fitted in the tip of the grip.
Solvitur Ambulando

cornwallcoastpathdweller

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Re: Product design help wanted please
« Reply #9 on: 16:07:23, 09/09/20 »
The easiest avaliable and cheap competition to a possibly heavy light up walking pole would be a head torch of course.  Maybe one of those red led lights that clip to school bags to provide light behind.


Not so sure a tip area mounted light would be any good to provide visability to others given its so low down and could be masked by a walkers legs from most angles.. 
one step then another then another then a bench - please?

fernman

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Re: Product design help wanted please
« Reply #10 on: 17:14:35, 09/09/20 »
Reading the Design Brief, I feel that something already available fits the remit perfectly, namely a head torch, though I'm not too sure about the 'fashion' bit.

tonyk

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Re: Product design help wanted please
« Reply #11 on: 17:41:26, 09/09/20 »
 
Quote
Design Brief:
There are lower levels of activity in most adults than considered healthy by the NHS. You should create a product that will encourage solo outdoor exercise in any form, by helping the user to overcome common problems when choosing to exercise in the dark and poor weather, focusing on visibility, stability and fashion, so that the product is not left unused or appearing out of place. It must be useable and aid with basic activities such as running, but also walking, in an on and off road environment.



This is a rather confusing design brief.Someone who has a lower than normal level of activity is unlikely to be trail running in the dark.The market for runners is already saturated with fancy devices and clothing that runners don't really need.At nightime in the countryside you rarely need any form of light once your eyes become accustomed to the darkness.If a light is required the best option is a head torch.


 The question you have to ask is why will a walking pole/stick encourage people to do more exercise? Who are the target group,younger women,pensioners,men etc? For lone women out at night the biggest fear is being attacked rather than run over by a car.For pensioners its the fear of falling over/taken ill and not being able to get help.Different groups have different needs. A rape alarm and a phone will be the best option for both of these needs.So where does the stick fit in?

noname

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Re: Product design help wanted please
« Reply #12 on: 12:28:21, 10/09/20 »
Thanks for the suggestions. I was thinking that the features of the product could encourage people who have no time to exercise outdoors in the winter during daylight hours because of work. It could do this by offering a light to see by, lights to be seen by, or support for those who need it (age, lack of fitness) or when paths become wet and muddy unexpectedly, these were some basic ideas that i thought you may be able to build on or suggest alternatives through your experience of walking and maybe knowledge of people in this position. The product was not intended for 'lone women' situations but more those who are being put off exercise or walking as a result of darkness or wetness of local paths or trails.


As for including extra features such as a rape alarm or GPS, the stick is my current best idea as a sort of 'base' for the features to be attached and worked into so that it encourages people to use them, as they may wish to take a stick with them anyway.



Hillhiker1

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Re: Product design help wanted please
« Reply #13 on: 19:59:46, 10/09/20 »
The only way you'd 'encourage' some of the folk I know to get outside for a walk, would be to use one of those 'shocker' dog collars that some immoral dog owners use to discipline their dogs.
You could set it up with a base station, and if they've been sat near it for too long they'll get a shock. They have to get up and go at least 200 yards (metres to you youngsters..) away from it for 30 mins or so...  :D


I've often thought a similar set up might encourage irresponsible dog owners to have more control of their dogs when out and about.
The human wears the collar and the dog wears the base station.. O0

Booga

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Re: Product design help wanted please
« Reply #14 on: 14:04:15, 28/09/20 »
I've seen small lighting units for cyclists' helmets that have a white light on the front and red on the back. Perhaps something like this could be incorporated into a walking pole handle. Make the logos on the shaft of the pole out of something reflective like Scotchlite (looks grey/silver in normal light so isn't too "neon" and unfashionable) so that it reflects car headlights at night.