Sunday, June 18, 2017

Review of People In Motion 2017

So I went down to People in Motion this year looking for new products of interest. If you have been reading my blog lately, you will know that I recently got a brand new Permobil F3 powerchair. I demoed the chair at the 2015 PIM show and then last year I met Randy Keith of Motion Specialties and he got me the chair. So far the chair has been great. Randy made a couple of adjustments. But I was still having trouble with a vibration that felt like a loose wheel. Permobil was at the show and they told me on Twitter that I should come to their booth and they'll take a look at it. That's the first thing I did when I arrived. I was turned over to one of their tech gurus. We went outside. He wanted to see what the chair looked like while I was driving. He didn't like the looks of the left rear caster. I told him what I thought. He agreed that the caster was loose and we went inside. To save time, he decided to replace both casters. And that was it. That took about ten minutes. He jacked up my chair while I was sitting in it. That fixed it. The chair has been perfect ever since. It doesn't vibrate anymore. I still have plans to do a snow demo with Permobil once I get snow tires installed later this year. I'm very happy with the chair and it all started at the PIM show. Now let's talk about a couple of new products.


I've been talking to Braze Mobility for a couple of years at a couple of these shows. This was their first time at PIM. When I first spoke to them, the BrazeView was a very rough prototype. The idea was to have a sensor in the front and rear of the powerchair that tells the user when you're going to run into something. I didn't think the front device was necessary. But I did think the rear sensor was a good idea. When I spoke to them again, they had abandoned the front sensor and they were building prototypes of the device for the rear sensor. It says in their promotional material that the BrazeView can be installed on any manual wheelchair but it's more appropriate for powerchairs. The device installs in the rear of the chair and it attaches to the controller. When it senses you're going to hit something, it beeps. It's a useful warning device. This is not a prototype anymore. You can now buy one. What they need to do now is get BrazeView approved by ADP so it can be used as a standard addon through ODSP. I am talking to them about possibly doing a demo of BrazeView and then write about it. They can be contacted at


Last year I wrote about a product that turned a manual wheelchair into a powerchair. SmartDrive attaches to the back of a manual wheelchair. It's supposed to give a power boost when needed. One of the biggest problems for manual wheelchair users is shoulder problems from trying to navigate a chair over rough terrain and steep grades. SmartDrive is supposed to sense this and power the user over any obstacle including curbs. The new version of this is called MX2+ and it comes with the PushTracker wristband and an app for iPhone or Android. It not only allows you to track your activity. But it also allows customization for acceleration, speed and other things. It says in the promotional material that SmartDrive can be used all day on one charge. It looks like a pretty good product for manual wheelchair users looking for increased mobility. SmartDrive is manufactured by Max Mobility in Tennessee and distributed by Quart Healthcare in Toronto. They can be contacted at 416-757-3731 or That's it from this year's People In Motion. Remember you can check out my blog at or follow me on Twitter @frankp316.

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