The Whill is a new high tech wheelchair which combines technology, innovation and brilliance. The founder and CEO of Whill Satoshi Sugi found his inspiration from a neighbor. “He used a wheelchair, and he told me he had given up even going to the grocery store two blocks away. He didn’t like being seen in public as weak or crippled. I wanted to make a wheelchair that would make the user feel confident and cool, while also using technology to improve the experience and capabilities.” With this goal in mind, he created the Whill.
The Whill brings a new concept to assistive technology. It combines the traditional wheelchair and then “pimps it out” for the users. It allows its users to move easily and effortlessly through many different terrains. It was created to integrate and uplift into various lifestyles whether in the office or at home. It is truly designed for performance and beauty. This remarkable technology has several applications to human centered computing, first is its assistive technology and also the depth of design that was put into its appearance and performance. This is a good example of a good user centered design since it aims not only to help the user but to also make the user feel more powerful while they are being helped.
The only improvement that I could propose to such a wondrous design, would be the ability to ascend stairs but with the progressive strides towards accessibility, most residences and businesses have become wheelchair accessible and should not pose a problem in many cases.
This was an interesting topic with a lot of real world impact. I found it interesting mostly because of the design and maneuverability of the technology. Its ability to be remotely controlled also appealed to the coder in me. I would like to work more on projects similar to this but more geared towards adaptive user interfaces.