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Get Stuff Into Your Trunk, Without Straining Your Back

Given the aging demographics of much of the world, we’re likely to see a lot of future innovation aimed at seniors. Technology that integrates seniors into society, that make up for their physical limitations, that just makes life easier–these could be the billion dollar ideas of the next few years.

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This personal carrier, which just won the U.S. stage of the James Dyson Award, is aimed at that segment of the market. Inspired by a hospital stretcher, it’s a tall shopping cart that collapses as you place it into the trunk of a car.

It was designed by Yen Le Loftin, while she was at the University of Houston last year. See her prototype in the video here:

“The most difficult part of grocery shopping happens after leaving the store, where the users no longer have the aid of the grocery cart for assistance, and must load, unload, and make multiple trips carrying those heavy loads from their car into their home,” Loftin says in her award submission.

The designer made 30 cardboard models of concept, eventually building an aluminum version with silicone handles. Users place the cart in front of the trunk, press a button to unlock, then pull the legs to fold the whole mechanism into the car. To get the cart out again, they just pull and push the legs down, and lock it into place.

Loftin now hopes to develop a commercial version. But before that, her idea will go forward to the international stage of the Dyson competition. The winner is announced November 6.

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