Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Since World War II, technology has changed the world. From the evolution of computers to the Internet, smartphones and more, most product categories have seen drastic changes over the past half a century. Yet one product category that has seen minimal innovation is personal walkers.
That's about to change.
Spurred by personal stories of disappointment in current walkers used by co-founders’ family members, Motivo is introducing the future of independent walking aids with the Motivo Tour.
Making a walking aid functional yet personal
The Motivo Tour is an entirely new type of walking aid, designed to provide not only greater independence and far superior ergonomics, but also a greater sense of pride and personal style.
Jeremy Knopow, a designer and co-founder at Motivo, saw firsthand the challenges of existing walkers when his father battled ALS. The basic two-wheeled, tennis ball sporting walkers didn’t have any of the daily convenience features to help him be more independent, including things like a seat, storage, or a tray for food.
At the same time, while four wheeled walkers on the market had some of these features, their fixed seat design prevented his father from walking inside the unit and upright the way doctors wanted him to walk.
“And beyond the functional aspects, the design of all the models available were so ugly and medical looking that my father really didn’t even want to be seen with it,” said Knopow. “I wanted something better for my dad and the tens of thousands of other people out there who just need a little extra help getting around, but who don’t want to have to sacrifice on either functionality or design.”
Motivo Co-Founder Jennifer Harris had similar negative experiences with these products when her mother needed a walker following an injury. Together with Knopow, this team of designers began developing prototypes and conducting consumer interviews to better understand the needs of the modern day walker user.
“As we looked at the ever growing population of baby boomers and their parents, we thought we cannot be the only ones that feel this way,” said Harris.
Crafted from aerospace technology, the Tour’s unique monocoque design allows users to walk inside the unit and upright instead of behind the device and hunched over as is the case with most rolling walkers on the market today. This monocoque structure provides unmatched stability and nearly limitless design options compared to current metal tube walkers, while still allowing the Tour to be as light or lighter than other walkers with even fewer features.
Three years later, after more than 300 hours of consumer testing and hundreds of hand built prototypes, the pair have filed multiple U.S. and International patents and are on the verge of manufacturing the Motivo Tour, with the help of the current Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.
This team of entrepreneurs has not only worked tirelessly reinventing the world of walking aids, but they’ve also done so while ensuring that the Motivo Tour is Made in the USA, right in their home state of Wisconsin.
Crowdfund your way to better mobility with Motivo
Today, the Motivo Tour is making its global debut via a Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, designed to introduce the Tour to the world and raise funds to enable the initial manufacturing.
People interested in supporting a better walking experience for themselves, their parents, grandparents or anyone else can contribute as little as $1 to the campaign or can pre-order a Tour at a special early bird rate. There is even an option to contribute towards donating patriotic themed Motivo Tours to veterans (http://igg.me/at/motivotour).
“Each day more than 10,000 new baby boomers are retiring, and nearly every one of them will likely need a little extra help getting around at some stage of their life,” said Knopow. “The Motivo Tour is our way to hopefully make that the best experience possible for them.”
Tour makes walker more personal, custom
A key element of the Tour is the shift from a stale, medical looking device to a more consumer-designed product that can reflect a user’s personal sense of style.
Unlike many current devices that are simply bare metal tubes, the Motivo Tour allows users to customize the Tour by selecting from multiple colors of their 5-layer automotive grade finish, as well as optional removable graphic sets. The graphics add an extra personal touch that can be instantly swapped out and feature numerous themes including holidays, patriotic, flowers, sport teams or even flames.
Additional unique convenience features on the Tour include a stow away padded seat, a folding tray with multiple cup holders, and private storage for personal items that doesn’t have to removed or emptied out when folding the Tour up for transport.
Upon completion of the crowdfunding campaign, the Motivo Tour is scheduled to be available in the fall of 2014 via their website at Motivolife.com and at select retailers across the country.