An elegant neural sleeve that uses complex but hidden electronics to improve the walking and strength of those with mobility impairment, and therefore their quality of life, was named Design Project of the Year for health and wellbeing in the 2023 Dezeen Awards.
The Cionic Neural Sleeve, a groundbreaking collaborative innovation, is a ‘first-of-its-kind healthcare product at the intersection of design, data and the human body’ that works to restore mobility to those suffering from muscular degenerative diseases such as MS and spinal injuries. The judges commended its ‘clever integration of technology into fabric which has the far-reaching possibility to vastly improve the quality of life for many’.
The judges also liked the fact that the sleeve ‘doesn’t have a medical appearance, which helps to remove any stigma for the wearer’, while Dezeen described it as ‘the perfect marriage of science, technology and design’.
Startup bionic clothing company Cionic, together with Design Indaba alum and famous industrial designer Yves Béhar's design studio Fuseproject, developed the bionic wearable that uses electric pulses and artificial intelligence to correct muscle movements in people with limited mobility. The technology, designed to be wrapped around the user’s leg, employs personalised algorithms to analyse an individual's gait pattern and deliver functional electrical stimulation (FES) to activate the correct muscles and support gait in real time. The receptor module, which is tucked away in a pocket on the thigh, picks up information on the user's gait pattern and transfers this to the electrodes, which stimulate the muscles to elicit micro-corrections in their movement.
Organised annually by Dezeen, the Dezeen Awards are an architecture, interiors and design awards programme that celebrates designs that address accessibility, sustainability and innovation.