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Cushion Your Fall


(Photo Credit: Suzhou Yidaibao Intelligent Technology Co.)


I’ve fallen and I can’t get up, no more.


We have all heard those commercials incessantly for over 30 years, but a new pillow-like innovation is being tested, and could revolutionize safety accessories as we age.


An Asian R&D firm is attempting to harness the technology in car airbags to create a personal safety device specifically targeting aging populations.


The result is a wearable personal airbag that senses and deploys when someone is about to take a tumble, providing cushioning around the wearer’s head and shoulders, hips, and back.


This promising innovation comes after five years of research and development by Suzhou Yidaibao Intelligent Technology Co.. One of the researchers thought of the concept after witnessing an elderly loved one fall and fracture their pelvis which involved a lengthy and excruciating recovery.


The body airbag development team found that roughly 400 million people aged 65 in China alone, experience an injury from a fall annually, and of those, nearly 32,000 perish as a result of a fall.


Two main problem areas needed to be addressed. First, the safety device, a vest needed to be able to judge the wearer’s normal posture in real time, to anticipate a fall, and second, was how it would deploy the airbags quickly enough to cushion the wearer’s landing.


The vest, to be worn consistently, can make split-second estimations on whether to deploy in anticipation of a fall.


Speed is absolutely of the essence. The research data showed an elderly man can fall to the ground in approximately 0.3 seconds, so the airbags deploy at twice the pace of a fall (0.18 seconds).


People age 60+ are projected to make up 30% of China’s population in a decade, according to Bloomberg, so the incentive to innovate is significant.


Still in its early stages of product development, the vest illustrates possible accessories coming.


Fashion? Likely not, but if this can save you or a loved one from a lengthy hospitalization stay, we are sure the fashion will evolve around this unique innovation.


To watch the impressive vest in action: click here.

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