The ‘Zeen’ was designed by Garret Brown, who was behind the Steadicam. For those unfamiliar, the Steadicam is a stabilizing mount for cameras.
This time, Brown is tackling a whole new set of stability issues. In a segment with CBS, Brown stated that he gained inspiration for the device from his father and his friends, who either had walkers or wheelchairs. He noticed a gap in the market for people who didn’t necessarily need either but could benefit from a hybrid of both.
Hence the Zeen was born, a walker that turns into a wheelchair whenever you need it. In its default setting, the device remains at chair height for people to use at tables and desks. In a demonstration on the company’s website, a woman is even seen adjusting the height of her chair so that she can sit at her counter in her kitchen.
Once they are ready to stand, the chair has two gas springs to help them up and into a standing position.
When walking, the user is still supported by the seat and armrests, which transform into handlebars. Of course, for security, the person is strapped in via a seatbelt to ensure they don’t tumble down.
For those who require a little more assistance when walking, the Zeen will help them take steps or “glide.” And when they’re ready to sit back down, they can use the two levers on the handlebar and push the seat back down with their weight.
The Zeen has just entered commercial production, and 100 chairs have already been made for clients, including Pope Francis. The website sells each unit for US$3,800.
According to kickstarter.com