A case for universal indoor mobility

Photo Credit: Naim Bejelloun

Spaces like airports, malls, corporate campuses are becoming larger with every passing year. Malls sprawling over several million square feet are not a rare sight in many metropolises. Airports are breaking new records with passengers sometimes having to walk a kilometer between gates. While the pandemic may have caused some disruptions in the state of affairs, these trends may not be affected much in the long-term.

As our spaces grow, there is an unprecedented need for solutions that allow people to comfortably explore them. More importantly, this presents a unique opportunity to make our public spaces more accessible. It offers a chance for us to rethink how we design products for a larger range of people including those with limited mobility or strength. Beyond the usual mobility constraints, there are also circumstantial constraints like having too many bags, having kids in tow, recovering from surgeries, pregnancy, menstrual cramps, or even fatigue. At some point of time we all have mobility constraints. Therefore, personal mobility solutions should be designed for the widest range of locomotor ability.

In some way, we would be emulating what has been a common pattern with assistive technologies. Many technologies have found new purposes after being introduced for a limited population. For example, three of early inventors of typewriters, Pellegrino Truni, Pierre Foucault and Alfred Ely Beach developed them to be used by people with visual disabilities (Lyons, 2021). The technology then evolved to be used by printers and then found their use in offices. Audiobooks have followed a similar trajectory.

With this premise, it is a great pleasure for me to introduce GoSolo, a smart and universal, personal mobility device that makes access to our spaces significantly more comfortable. 

Lyons, M. (2021). 2 The Birth of the Typosphere. In The Typewriter Century (pp. 25–48). University of Toronto Press.