BOSTON — PolyOne Corporation, a premier global provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions, recently unveiled highlights of its collaboration with top industrial design students from Art Center College of Design (ACCD — Pasadena, CA). Three standout concept designs for home healthcare were featured at the Industrial Design Society of America’s IDSA 2012 Conference (Aug 15 — 18, Booth #104-106).
Anil Saraf, PolyOne’s director, market innovation, explains, “As designers push the envelope to develop new products, they are often the first to capture critical unmet needs and connect with market trends. PolyOne works with designers to help them develop innovative designs by leveraging our materials expertise and our network of PolyOne Innovation Centers around the world.”
During this recent collaboration, a structured brainstorming process developed by ACCD called a DesignStorm, designers focused on creating new home healthcare concepts for children, active adults, and older adults. The event united PolyOne with a talented group, including noted industrial designers Chuck Pelly, Scott Clear and Chris Lefteri; fifteen outstanding ACCD students from a variety of industrial design disciplines within the school; and Rapid Prototype + Manufacturing LLC (rp+m), a leading rapid prototyping firm.
Together, this group first took part in an idea-exchange symposium that set the stage for an all-day ideation process. Final designs included:
- Better Bear — Targeted at pediatric patients, this bear is designed to reduce the fear children with chronic diseases often feel. Polymeric sensors in the body of the bear take temperature and record vital signs when children hug the bear. Accessories include a bracelet that offers reminders when it is time to take medication, test glucose levels, etc.
- Go-Let — For the “New Silvers,” or active older adults, a daily exercise routine is reinforced by a bracelet that relies on LEDs that use thermally conductive polymers to manage heat. The LEDs light up to signal when the wearer is due to exercise, but looks like a piece of jewelry.
- ReFit — For active adults, a physical therapy system complete with free-form weights overmolded with soft-touch TPE material turns therapy into a game. The system incorporates LEDs, heated pads, and display areas, all of which utilize polymer solutions.
Concept designs for home healthcare: Better Bear (left), Go-Let (middle) and ReFit (right)
“We appreciate the dynamic and iterative approach taken by the students to discover unmet consumer needs and pair them with innovative designs using advanced materials,” adds Saraf. “These designs get to the heart of market needs while also improving the experience of end users.”
PolyOne Corporation, with 2011 revenues of $2.9 billion, is a premier provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions. The company is dedicated to serving customers in diverse industries around the globe, by creating value through collaboration, innovation and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Guided by its Core Values, Sustainability Promise and No Surprises PledgeSM, PolyOne is committed to its customers, employees, communities and shareholders through ethical, sustainable and fiscally responsible principles.
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