Sensoria Wellness Coach in IoT Smart Cushion for Wheelchair Users

“Sensoria Wellness Coach,” that’s how a company called Sensoria describes its new, Bluetooth-enabled smart cushion for wheelchair users. The well-known Dutch designer and mechanical engineer Hans Hulsbosch is one of the inventors of the device, which Sensoria is already pitching to medical device makers as a way to track intensity, intensity of use, and perhaps even calories burned during routine tasks, especially those done on higher-energy machines like stoves or fridges.

That’s a smart idea in a mass-market product that any of us could buy (for, according to Sensoria, it can be stored in a purse, a waistcoat pocket, or a jacket pocket), but for wheelchair users it raises questions about things like whether the device is worth buying in the first place. If they’re paying their doctor or any other specialist $300 or more for a massage-chamber-style device to look after themselves, I’m willing to be persuaded that an intelligent cushion with limited speed and efficiency — that might, for instance, support particular people’s movement, but that isn’t permanently devoted to helping them — might be a useful device for someone in a wheelchair who spends all their time or the majority of their day in it.

But if a peripheral device might make it easier for some users to cope with their condition, it could conceivably make others even worse. Medical devices have been banned in many U.S. public parks, for instance, because they may make people more sensitive to light, which annoys some others. In an argument that generates its own silly images, advocates for nursing mothers warn that pacifiers that aren’t too thick or tight can make breast-feeding more difficult for babies and encourage them to move more at the expense of rest and nutrition. The peanut-herring-in-a-jar argument from back in the day wasn’t simply about how to limit the interference between homemade peanut butter and homemade herring; it also argued that chemical substances like peanuts and a combined three-way suspension, sorry, suspension/suspension-bar

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