An app would serve as an interface for the users and alert them when unhealthy postures can be corrected.
The idea is that “correct” postures can progressively become normal and become a new habit for the user.
The interesting part is that this chair is designed to be “shareable”.
Once the sitting position has been improved for one person – or one employee in an organisation – the Smart Chair can be passed on to the next one.
Thus, the business model is based on the idea of health prevention benefiting both employees and organisations in the long term.
According to Lydia, the whole design process has been fascinating since they involved different stakeholders in the ideation process.
“It was an exciting experience to reach out to younger generations and experiment with co-innovation methodologies during the pandemic.
It requires a lot of effort, but the resulting value proposition is richer than what we could have been achieved with traditional methods,” she recalls.
So far, the product has not reached the market yet, but the design team expects that the involvement of all stakeholders in the first steps of the project design will enhance its adoption when the product is ready to be commercialised.
“The main barrier in embracing co-creation in product design is the time and investment needed to organise co-innovation activities involving a representative group of stakeholders, including citizens, experts, salespeople, organisers, facilitators, etc.
Another barrier is the innovative way of doing things, which is still not convincing to all interested parties. A lot of effort is needed to raise awareness about the benefits of this approach,” Montandon explains further.
Lydia believes that a change of mindset regarding designing and developing an innovative product is needed, alongside how you approach customers, involving them in the process rather than presenting a result.
One of the early achievements would be for her to see her colleagues complaints about their back pains and visits to the therapist disappear soon, and provide this relief for many other people in the near future.