Innovative mobility and rehab products recognised

Naidex 2012 sees trio of products singled out for praise

Scene and Heard, an app for developing language skills, scooped the award for New Product of the Year at this year\'s Naidex National 2012 event

An iPad app that helps people to develop their language skills, a personal mobility vehicle, and a beanbag for disabled children have been named as the most outstanding products of the past 12 months.

The trio picked up gongs during a celebration of innovation held as part of the National Naidex 2012 exhibition and conference in Birmingham last week; the country’s largest event celebrating innovation in the mobility and rehabilitation sector.

We aim to show that products can be functional and look good at the same time

Top prize for New Product of the Year went to Scene and Heard, an iPad application from Therapy Box. The app has been designed to give practitioners, teachers, parents and carers a quick and easy way to create scenes full of multimedia content, such as audio clips and video clips, which are recorded directly into the app through the iDevice. The application can be used to support communication for people with developing language skills and those who benefit from context, with hotspots to click on, which then play a pre-recorded message. The scenes can also incorporate the Widgit Symbol Set which is accessible directly through the app when editing. Each symbol can be given a linked audio message, providing a more high-tech system for users.

Commenting on the win, Russell Smith from Therapy Box said: “It is fantastic to win this award and get our product recognised by such a wide range of people. It will be a great platform for us to communicate the benefits of Scene and Heard and we are delighted.”

The People’s Choice New Product Award went to Rollerscoot for its new personal mobility vehicle. Designed for shopping, holidays and outings, the product is suitable for indoor and outdoor use and folds for easy storage and transportation.

Rollerscoot picked up the People\'s Choice Award

Rollerscoot’s Ian Gray said: “Being voted the people’s choice feels brilliant and is particularly special because it was decided by the end user who, at the end of the day, is the most important person to appeal to.”

The final Style Award was chosen by Paralympic swimmer, Matt Whorwood, who eventually picked Specialist Orthotic Services’ P Pad beanbags.

Aimed at young patients who need a more-defined seating shape due to disability, the beanbags provide postural support and are available in a range of materials.

Company spokeswoman, Tracey Minor, said: “It is wonderful to be recognised for having such a stylish product. We aim to show that products can be functional and look good at the same time, so it is great to know what we achieve that with the P Pod.”

Liz Virgo, event director, said the awards were important recognition for the sector, which is benefiting from the switch from hospital care towards improved community services and rehabilitation. She added: “We are thrilled for the exhibitors who have won this year’s awards at Naidex National 2012 . The New Product of the Year Award has always been a fantastic way of raising awareness of the most innovative and exciting products on the market, and both Rollerscoot and Scene and Heard are deserved winners. We were also really pleased to bring the Style Award back for a second year and hope it shows visitors that living with a disability does not have to mean compromising on looking good, as the P Pod clearly demonstrates.”

For more on Naidex National 2012, click here

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