Sometimes the best — and most practical — inventions may not be the sexiest or intricate.
Think about those little finger grips that attach to the back of a smartphone case so your two thousand dollar iPhone X doesn’t slip from your palms and crack its delicate, glassy display on the ground.
ELLE is a device that belongs in that category: it is cheap and easy to use, but also incredibly handy.
Created by Singapore-based startup LightWeight, ELLE is a simple shopping cart add-on aimed at the elderly population — and people with back problems.
Currently, most elderly people shop with shopping carts that resemble this:
It is a very simple device and there really isn’t much to explain. It’s a small and light enough cart that can be wheeled from the house to the supermarket and back.
But the one flaw of these carts is that shoppers have to bend their backs and reach in to grab the shopping bags when they unpack. It’s not something many healthy people think about it since…well, how difficult is it to bend one’s back?
The situation is, of course, very different for people not in the pink of health. So what LightWeight has developed is a automatic elevating platform for the trolley.
There is no smart tech involved; not even a rudimentary motor or battery-powered mechanism.
What ELLE uses instead is a simple spring mechanism and and a moveable platform. Each time a shopping bag is removed, the platform moves up until the load is cleared.
LightWeight sells two variations of ELLE: one is a foldable shopping cart already outfitted with the automatic elevating platform, and another one is the ELLE device that can be retrofitted for shopping carts.
LightWeight is crowdfunding ELLE on Kickstarter. It has already raised S$3,143 (US$2,333) of its S$8,000 (US$6,000) goal.
As Singapore’s aging population continues to grow, such a device would certainly assist in alleviating some of the problems elderly face, and potentially help them to save on medical bills from chiropractors.
The only problem is is that it retails for S$65 (US$49). A bit pricey when you consider many elderly people are living off their pension funds or government hand-outs.
But since the production of ELLE is still in its early stages, its price may go down as demand for it escalates (if it does).
Image Credit: LightWeight