Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New products at People In Motion 2013

After attending this year's People In Motion show, I looked at a couple of products that were pitched to me as new products. In both cases, I decided not to write about either of them. One was a product line that seemed more appropriate for seniors as opposed to the disabled. And the other is an institutional product not designed for the individual end user. These guys are at People In Motion when they would be better off at a property management convention. But I do have two products that are distributed and manufactured by the same company. The distributor is Independent Solutions in Niagara Falls, ON. The first product is called Power Buddy. Like a lot of you, I have a smartphone. And the biggest complaint about smartphones is they don't hold a charge. I have an Android phone. And in the early days of smartphones, there were portable chargers only for the iPhone and Blackberry. Power Buddy is a portable charger that uses the power from your powerchair or scooter to charge your smartphone or any other electronic device. You might be concerned about the drain on your chair. But according to the manufacturer, it might draw 5% from the chair. You just plug the Power Buddy into the socket underneath the joystick and you can charge on the go. Independent Solutions was charging $100 for the Power Buddy but it should be available from your dealer. I would be interested in this product except I already have a portable charger called Powerocks MagicStick that I use to charge my phone when I am in the subway. It works for all phones. I paid $30 for it at Mountain Equipment Co-op. But I am sure there are plenty of disabled smartphone users who need to check out the Power Buddy. The other product is actually two variations on the same theme. One is called the JoyBar and the other is called the ReJoy. I don't have this problem but there are some folks who are unable to use the standard joystick mounted on the arm of most powerchairs. Some lack the dexterity to move the arm to the side far enough to use the side control. The ReJoy mounts to the center of the front of your seat so you can use the joystick without having to reach to the side. The JoyBar is a similar product but it has the same controls that you would find on a scooter. Those kind of controls would normally not be practical for a powerchair. Both products come with a holder that mounts on the side of the chair so you can remove either control when transferring. Both products need to be installed by professionals. So if the product is of interest, contact your dealer. The Power Buddy, the ReJoy and JoyBar are manufactured by Active Controls in New Jersey and distributed in Canada by Independent Solutions. You can contact them toll free at 1-866-373-1988 or visit their website at Independent Solutions also distributes drink holders and similar products manufactured by SnapIt! in Texas and Active Controls has some other products that I would like to see picked up for distribution. That's all from this year's People In Motion show. See you next year.

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