Naidex 2018 Roundup: From Autism apps to saddle chairs and vibrating shoes

Alex Barker meets the TEC innovation the team behind the vibrating shoesYesterday we went and had a look at some of the new products on show at Naidex. Held annually at the NEC in Birmingham it describes itself as a marketplace for “innovations for the future of independent living”.

There were over 200 stands and we can’t confess to have visited them all, but here are some of the things that we liked. Salli Systems from Finland were there showcasing their saddle chairs and once you get over the fact that you do feel like you are getting on a horse the seats are quite comfortable!


Iansyst, and Smartbox Assistive Technology were there along with SignLive. They are well known assistive technology providers, and it was good to go and see what technology they had on their stands. More so this year, than in other years there did seem to be a real effort to show people what technology could do to help people become more independent in their own home.


Whether it was watches which doubled up as GPS locators so that people with dementia could be located and some of them even featured a useful “panic button” so they could call a nominated person to receive help.


Companies like Avail were also there and they were showcasing their app which helps people with autism and cognitive impairments become more independent by helping them to complete everyday tasks. On Wednesday 25 April our very own Head of Digital Inclusion Robin Christopherson was speaking about the importance of inclusive design in a mobile-first world.


Other companies displayed technology which could be used to help monitor elderly or vulnerable people in their own home. One of my favourite pieces of technology was shoes that could help visually impaired and blind people navigate around their area. If you got to close to an object the shoes would start to vibrate to warn you of danger. The shoes are called WALKASSIST and are made by an Austrian company, TEC innovation.


There were lots of leisure time organisations at the show too, from adventure holidays in the Lake District to holidays in Tuscany too. If you were interested in sports you could go and check out the action in the sports arena and if you wanted to find out how to get to places in specially adapted vehicles there were numerous dealers at the event.


Normally I don’t buy any products at these shows, but I always come back with a load of leaflets. However I did find a mug holder called a Muggi for carrying hot drinks. As I have difficulties carrying drinks at the best of times it seemed like a great idea. It’s purple and it’s plastic and it is a really simple idea. Some times the simplest of ideas can be the most useful!