Five groups of product design engineering students from the Glasgow School of Arts have won a national competition, created and sponsored by Chubb, to design a new personal alarm to support the independent living of the elderly and vulnerable in society.
The winning teams will share a £2,500 cash prize, and had their designs publicly presented at Municipal Buildings in Forres, Moray.
For the challenge, students were divided into groups and tasked with designing a pendant, worn around the neck or wrist, enabling the wearer to generate an alarm if they are in distress. The students took a user-lead approach, rather than manufacturer- or provider-lead , by working with the current users of the technology throughout the nearby community of Moray, their carers, and other professionals to get input on the design and functionality of the pendant. Chubb conceived the competition to complement the work of its own design engineers.
David Hammond, general manager of Chubb’s Community Care business, says the quality of entries from all groups of students was outstanding: “Prior to this competition, many of the students were unaware that such technology existed, but by building relationships with the community of Moray along with the professionals prescribing these pendants, the results have been outstanding,” he says. “They have designed some fantastic products based around what the users wearing the pendant actually want and feel would be beneficial to others. The support and enthusiasm of the community of Moray during this project has been amazing.”
Craig Whittet, Head of Product design engineering, Glasgow School of Arts, says he too has been taken aback by the high caliber of submissions: “'This competition provided the perfect platform for students to experience and understand the responsibilities of developing products for vulnerable users and the demands of an aging population. It's thanks to Chubb's foresight that the experience gained from this project will be directly transferable to future student projects,” he says. “'The experience of all project partners and their enthusiasm and engagement throughout the process provided a range of insights that the students explored through workshops, concepts, prototypes and exhibitions. The next stage in the process will offer the prize-winning students further challenges and opportunities as they turn their concepts into marketable products.”
Chubb Community Care technology is designed to promote a fully enabled and integrated telecare service. The Community Care business of Chubb has more than 60 years of expertise in designing and installing systems that meet the needs of installers, carers, responders and users. It is a member of the Telecare Services Association and has been awarded a framework agreement by the Crown Commercial Service for Technologies (telecare/telehealth/telecoaching solutions), Northern Housing Consortium for Assisted Living (products, installation and maintenance) and Scotland Excel for the supply and delivery of telecare equipment and associated services. For more information visit www.chubbcommunitycare.co.uk
The winning teams and members comprised:
Craig Meakin, Kayleigh Nelson, Eilidh Gibson and Ramsay Black
Gordon Ritchie, Francesca Stephens, Jordan Smith, Erin Wallace and Heather Walker
Steven McCauley, Harry Hutton, Kim Stendahl, Matias Rinne and Andrew Robertson
Nadia Bassiri, Robert Turner, Harry Opoku Agyeman, Helen Campbell and Jonathan Thomson
Michael Tougher, Hannah Kirkbride, Euan Spalding and Tristan Stoner
The Judging Panel comprised:
Graeme Heanan, Regional Managing Director, Chubb Fire & Security; David Hammond, General Manager, Chubb Community Care; Liz Milward, Senior Marketing Manager, Chubb Fire & Security; Julian Edge, Product Development Manager; Samantha Davies, Business Development Manager, Chubb Community Care; Craig Whittet, Head of Product Design Engineering, Glasgow School of Arts; Professor Hugh Pizey, Lecturer, Product Design Engineering, Glasgow School of Arts; Andrea Taylor, Researcher, Glasgow School of Arts; and Lorna Bernard, Telehealthcare Strategy and Development Manager, Moray Community Health and Social Care Partnership.