A writing aide designed to assist those individuals who suffer from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, specifically with symptoms of hyper-mobility (joints that stretch further than normal) and subluxation (a partial or incomplete dislocation of a joint).
The objective for this semester long studio project was to find and exploit and opportunity gap in the market dealing with adults with disabilities and create a compelling product experience for them.
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) is a connective tissue disorder, characterized by double-joints, stretchy skin and fragile tissue.
Due to the pain and pressure that using a pen puts on the finger joints, people with EDS generally have illegible handwriting, incorrect grip, finger dislocations, and easily tire after only a few minutes. Using laptops is also impractical because picking up the device can cause wrist dislocation or subluxation.
In my primary research I was able to interview my brother and sister-in-law who both have EDS. While talking with them, they were willing and able to show me how they currently wrote and how that contributed to their pain. I was able to discuss with them what methods of pain reduction would be most beneficial.
I also posted a survey to a number of EDS Facebook support pages from which I got 130 responses. The survey questions were open-ended and related to the areas of previously used writing aides, other technologies, related EDS symptoms, and potential improvements.
I gained invaluable insights from building quick study models and testing them with my brother and sister-in-law. As the end user, they know what will feel best in their hands and what will help to alleviate some of the symptoms common to EDS.
How It Works
Grip-it helps to alleviate symptoms experienced while writing for those with EDS. It comes in a variety of sizes to accommodate the many types of hand sizes. It’s internal coloring can be changed as well through a connected smart device. Additionally, Grip-it is calibrated through a connected smart device based on the pressure exerted while writing, the amount of time spent writing, and the pain level measurements both before and after.