The students behind Team Hindsight — Drake Dawson, Zac Barley, Kiana Heitzman and Jillian Ramos — share a passion for helping people. That's what drives the invention of a mirror that helps anyone using a mobility device navigate safely.
Read the Hindsight interview to learn more about the team's motivation, their fun brainstorming sessions and how Human Centered Design enabled them to achieve their goal.
1. What is your invention?
Our invention is a mirror for mobility devices. We developed an accessible system that provides rear and lateral visibility to any walker wheelchair and power chair.
2. Where did you get the inspiration for your invention idea?
Our inspiration came from the beautiful community of elderly people nearby our university. This project started because we were spending time in assisted living communities and recognized a common problem. A lack of visibility limited the safety and independence of every mobility device user. Through Human Centered Design we have been able to see a product form and watch how it transforms the lives of those who use it.
3. As you prepare to pitch your invention to judges, what are you most excited about sharing?
We are most excited about sharing how this product can change people's lives. We have witnessed this first hand, but getting to share that with judges will allow them to connect with our vision.
4. Who are your invention heroes?
I do not think we have any invention heroes, but our professors inspire us and enable us in very practical ways. George Fox University encourages innovative interdisciplinary work and has given us the resources that this project needed to thrive. Neal Ninteman our faculty adviser always encourages us and is the closest thing to a hero that we have.
5. Tell us about your team. How did you connect with one another and how do you work together?
Our team is made up of two mechanical engineers (Drake and Jillian), one civil engineer (Kiana), and a computer scientist (Zac). What unites us is our care for others, and our belief that we can invent a better future. Because our backgrounds and personalities are diverse it makes brainstorming fun, and prototyping a joy. We have sought advisers such as Carr Biggerstaff out to guide us into the world of business, and we love to learn together by pursuing this venture.
6. What is the most important thing you want the judges to understand about your invention — what will set you apart from the competition?
When we started doing research we were shocked that no one else had done what we have now accomplished. We quickly found out how difficult building a working product on our own was, and I think that ultimately our continued failures led to a huge victory! We started this project a few short months ago with a dream and through Human Centered Design, we have already changed the lives of people in our community. What sets us apart is that what we are doing is for others, and we are thankful for all the learning and opportunity that has met us along the way.