For the time being this artifact will be called Bedside Matter.  In fact, that will probably be the company name when the company goes into production for health care products for individuals.  Having one son going to college for mechanical engineering soon does lend itself to the hope that he will be able to create a business out of his mother's ideas along with his wonderful skills of prototyping and mechanics.


    The gap addressed in this project was the inability to keep items close at hand for a patient who is in a hospital bed for long term reasons.  I am that patient and spend most of my time here in order to avoid the things that cause pain.  I can walk, but not far.  I can talk, but not long.  I get winded.  I am limited on my reaching ability and strength, so the device had to be close to me and not be heavy if I was expected to move it.  It is a container for all the things that I need at my bedside.  And it is only the first one, not completely made to my liking at this time, but the best I can do under the circumstances.  Gravity has been my arch nemesis while laying around doing Coursera classes, and I often lose my glasses, the remotes, the phone, pens and pencils to the floor, then cannot retrieve them without help.  Bedside Matter holds my items so that I do not lose them and can reach them for easy use.  It also has a place to keep a dinner plate on top of the device so that I don't have to keep a table over my bed with food on it - this allows me to eat at my leisure instead of being forced to eat when a caregiver chooses.


    Bedside Matter has a long way to go to be fully refined, including creating a one shell type of device with a handle for easy carrying.  At present, it is a box and a container of three drawers, which, though functional, still has a long way to go before it is presentable to the public for sale.  In fact, there is a possibility that a line of Bedside Matter items could be created to assist people in their hospital beds or even along side their couches as they watch entertainment at home.  The current device is a put together piece.  The final piece should be beautiful, yet, extremely handy with hooks to hold headphones, pockets to hold remotes and phones, and more nooks and crannies to contain other bedside items.  So, let's take a look at what has been created so far:

    The first picture is of the three drawer portion of the device.  It holds medicine, pens, pencils, erasers, glue, paper, glasses, remotes, and the telephone is at the top of the device, handy for calls.  A plate can be set upon the device to hold food at the ready.

    The second picture shows a cacophony of things in a box that has a high back and a low front.  It holds envelopes, and fingernail files and tweezers, a hair clip, a bag of earphone and android attachments, napkins, and other sundries that I might need while stuck here in this hospital bed at home.  It has been much more convenient than leaving everything on top of the little table, and I have been able to increase my own participation in the world by having this device.  I see much more that can be done with it.  Much like the instructor's ice cream scoop, I will probably be perfecting this device for a long time to come!

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    I have made it through most of this course, but would like to do the class again sometime because I think I could really improve on my design.  I would even be willing to go into business with a family member who could build a whole company out of the niche.  We will see, we will see!


    June 2013