Among people 65 years and older, more than one in three are victims of at least one fall every year, which sometimes results in a debilitating loss of mobility. A team of French and Dutch designers creating elegant and non-stigmatizing objects has launched an innovative self-supporting cane called “Tango.”
75% of the weight distributed on the base of the cane
A result of a meeting between Nicolas Reydel, designer and founder of Denovo and Daniel Navarro, inventor of this refined design object, the Tango cane, both aesthetic and functional, is meant to help with balance and mobility. The Tango is surely one of the more innovative concepts geared at a population that designers often overlook. It was after watching everyday scenes of elderly life that the two friends had an idea to create a self-supporting cane that wouldn’t fall over and would allow dependent people a certain measure of freedom. “Too often, seniors drop their canes and are not able to pick them up. This can sometimes cause relatively serious accidents,” says Nicolas Reydel, who trained in Finland, a country where solidarity still rings true.
What differentiates the modern patented Tango from other models on the market is primarily its ability to stand on its own, due to a skilful weight redistribution. Although its weight is identical to that of an ordinary cane, 75% of it is in the base of the pole, creating a low center of gravity that allows the object to stand up on its own and to be recovered easily if necessary. If it’s dropped, one can easily retrieve it by simply putting a bit of foot pressure on its base.
A result of work carried out in cooperation with physiotherapists, geriatricians and designers, Tango has a duckbill handle for an easy grip that allows for a vertical support to the contact point on the ground, ensuring the balance of the person holding it. Designed in high-tech lightweight materials, a carbon tube and a composite fiberglass handle, the cane allows the user to walk with greater ease and security.
To publicize the Tango, Denovo is hoping to convert cane users by word of mouth. After all, who’s a better salesperson than a convinced user? The enterprise wants to develop a network of “Tango cane ambassadors,” who would sell the product through private sales. Nicolas Reydel believes that this smart business strategy also has a larger social impact. In addition to providing a source of additional income, the concept, which brings to mind Tupperware parties, would strengthen links between often-isolated people with its product presentation get-togethers. To secure a return on a cane that costs 150 euros, the units would be sold on the dedicated website and in stores as well. An economic model that makes sense, at least according to the jury of the Senior Trophies, who awarded Denovo a prize in the Gerontechnology category in early May.
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Translated by Genny Cortinovis