5th April 2019 - Teachers and pupils from Lockington CE VC Primary School near Beverley have been working with technology solutions provider Tunstall as part of their project looking at the use of technology in the home, and two pupils were today recognised for their idea for a new assistive technology solution.
The winning idea comprises a snap-band bracelet which links to a geo-fencing system, designed to safeguard people with dementia. The bracelet remains green if the wearer is in their ‘safe’ zone, but will vibrate and turn red to alert the user if they move too far away from home. Other ideas included a wrist worn alarm which the user presses twice to contact a monitoring centre for help, a multi functional device to monitor vital signs and safety in the home and a video conferencing solution designed to decrease social isolation.
The project began with a visit to Tunstall’s Doncaster headquarters back in November 2018. Tunstall works with housing, health and social care providers to help them use technology in their services to enable people to remain independent and safe at home. This includes telecare systems, which use a home unit connected to the telephone line which will raise the alert at a specialist 24 hour monitoring centre if the user presses the button on the pendant worn around their neck or on their wrist. Some of the Year 5 and 6 pupils had relatives using a telecare system, and so they were intrigued to see how units are designed and made as they toured the Tunstall factory.
The visit also included a tour of the Tunstall museum, which gave the children a good understanding of the company’s long history and the opportunity to understand how it has grown from a single TV repair shop to a global technology solutions company, and to see how the products have changed over time. They were fascinated to look at the old adverts and photography, and see the very first telecare alarm units.
Tunstall’s Innovation Centre introduced the children to the latest generation of Tunstall solutions, which uses digital cloud-based technology to unobtrusively monitor people’s safety and wellbeing. As well as enabling the user to easily call for help in a crisis, newer Tunstall solutions can predict and help to prevent events such as falls or worsening health.
During the visit, the children were given a project brief to design and build a model of what they think could be the next innovative assistive technology solution. These ideas were then presented to Angus Honeysett, Service Development Manager, and Kevin Avery, System Consultant, from Tunstall, who chose Lydia and Evie’s snap band idea.
Headteacher Julie Cattle commented: “It is crucial that we excite and inform young people about the way science and technology can be taken into society in real and valuable ways. Seeing the kind of inventions and innovations which Tunstall provide for its customers really did bring learning opportunities to life, and the children are very keen to develop their ideas.”
Angus Honeysett said: “It’s fantastic to see what the children have come up with. They’ve had some really great ideas and worked together to turn them into realistic products. It’s been a really fascinating project, and we were very impressed with the results. Congratulations to all who took part.”
Pupils who took part in the project said: “The project was amazing! It gave us a chance to let our imaginations flow with an idea that could help to improve lives.”, and “It was a great opportunity to show our skills in a project that brings our ideas to life.”
"Its been a really fascinating project, and we were very impressed with the results. Congratulations to all who took part."
Angus Honeysett, Service Development Manager