After patenting our technology we are finally in the position to show it to the public! The prototype has gone trough several phases – from drawings to demo to mixing board to suitcase:
1. BACKGROUND: An existing concept & new knowledge
The Tidewave turning mattress was originally an idea from Elen’s grandfather in the 90’s (read more here). His concept was a curved mechanical mattress that turned from side to side automatically. We have kept the fundamental movement, but further developed the concept in line with today’s technological possibilities and health related demands.
Keywords on the adjustments in our new version:
– Adapted to all types of beds
– Light weight materials
– Separate zones with individual movements
– Tailor made programs
– Sensor learning technology
2. MANUAL CONTROL: Mixing board and a foldable mattress
The control unit
To control the mattress we needed to explore all kinds of movement to the tiny detail. Our solution was to fill up lots of coushions with air to make it move. Andreas made a mixing board to control all of them separately. This piece has been trough many, many hours of experimenting – both in our workshop and at nursing homes.
The slim mattress
An important buying criteria from the nursing homes is that the mattress must be portable and suitable for any bed. As the need for pressure relief can vary for a person over time, a typical scenario at a nursing home is to provide the necessary helping aids to the ones who need it the most. Our mattress is therefore developed to have a slim and light design to be easily carries. This version was divided in three zones to fit the movable frame of hospital beds.
The flexible movement
This is how the first prototype of the mattress and the control unit spoke together. By use of an compressor we are filling the mattress with air and making it move as we want.
3. EXPLORING MOVEMENTS: Lego modelling
In stead of making a whole bunch of prototypes with different movement patterns we used “lego” way of exploring. Eight cushions in different sized was placed in various ways to identify where and how the movements could take place. Velcro (borrelås) made it possible to attach and detach them. The findings were then demonstrated and discussed together with health and design professionals.
4. PORTABLE: From flat to rollable
Visits at potential customers always provides us with important insights for improvements. One of the adjustments after a visit at Vågedalen nursing home was to make the mattress rollable! The most important cause of damages in the current mattresses was that they got dragged across the floor instead of carried – as they are extremely large and heavy. By having being rollable we make sure that this is not an issue with our turning mattress!
5. ERGONOMIC, USER FRIENDLY & SAFE: Less components
The product is now looking more like a regular mattress! Most of the technology is hidden, only one cord from the mattress to the control unit. Here is how it looks in a real scenario.
6. DIGITALIZED: Controlling by computer
The control unit has gone from a wooden panel to a technical suitcase, made in close cooperation with the local IT company Informasjonskontroll. When the “brain” is open like this, it is easy for us to do adjustments and tests. Having it connected to sensors and controlled by a computer, it provides us with valuable data for further development. The software is getting smart!
7. ONLINE: Tablet, turning programs, ten times smaller
Our ongoing phase is to select movement intervals for longer test periods. In this process we are researching how pressure is relieved in the best way in line with health factors and technical standards. These days we are testing at patients, talking to professionals within pressure soars and mattresses and of course working on the next prototype version which will be controlled by a tablet. As soon as we have set the scope of implemented movements and programs, our control unit will be a small box – around ten times smaller!
..The prototype is getting closer to a commercial product every week. Stay tuned for more updates!