Industrial designer Tammy Kalinsky has come up with a simple yet ingenious accessory for the wheelchair which allows a friend, relative or caregiver to push the chair while walking beside rather than behind it.
Called Side by Side, the device is designed to enable eye contact to encourage conversation.
Wired reports that a fundamental hurdle to overcome was modifying the design so as to avoid the wheelchair simply turning on the spot when pushed. Kalinsky's solution was to place the handlebar to the front of the wheelchair, and have it angled slightly inwards
Kalinsky says she has taken inspiration from the bicycle, incorporating both a horn and a flashlight into the design to foster interactivity and communication. The device can also be folded to fit into the rear pocket of the chair.
According to Wired, Kalinsky is now seeking funding to bring her patent-pending design to market.