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CO-WRITTEN / PARTNER | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong
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BNET-Tech Company Limited bags Designed in Hong Kong Awards for Healthcare

The smart walking cane is simplified to overcome elderly people's aversion to electronic gadgets.

BNET-Tech Company Limited's STICKu, is an intelligent, aesthetic crutch that offers both practicality and increased functions. With a power button installed in the handle, it is easier to use as one need only grab the crutch for it to automatically go into service. There are also several sensors attached to the device, providing various degrees of illumination that will flash from the front torch according to the lighting conditions of the environment. The heater surface on the handle, meanwhile, operates automatically with the thermal sensor. STICKu's hidden power button and the sensor-driven device also helps overcome the aversion some elderly people may have to electronic gadgets. No training is needed for using the walking stick which is geared to moulding into their lives smoothly. For this, BNET-Tech won Hong Kong Business Designed in Hong Kong Awards for Healthcare.

BNET-Tech co-founder Brian Lam says all of STICKu's features will operate automatically based on the change of environment or user’s activity. "The design goal is to make senior’s life as easier and comfortable as possible without learning cycle. A geriatric person may be incapacitated by a fall without access to assistance. My cane helps to avoid this scenario, but if it happens, it can overcome the emergency by calling out for help," he explains.

STICKu has only one button, which is designed for emergency use. Once pressed, the sound-emitting device releases an alarm, with the front torch transmitting a light to draw attention. A distress message can also be sent to targeted parties using bluetooth technology. Bluetooth technology has replaced the traditional use of the SIM card to preserve the privacy of users. It allows users to choose whether the are willing to reveal their location through apps on their smartphones. There is also a notification light alerting users to whether the GPS is turned on or otherwise. Bluetooth technology presents a smaller financial burden for users. Furthermore, unlike the SIM card, it is not hindered by geographical constraints.

The device's emergency mode, on the hand, can be triggered if a user falls down to the ground. To prevent false alarm due to occasional dropping of STICKu, the emergency mode will activate after several seconds. If STICKu is not picked up within that period, it will alarm and a message will be sent to emergency contacts who are pre-defined in the app. There is a proprietary charging device for the STICKu which is user-friendly as well. By simply placing it near the charger, it will be connected to each other through the magnetic device. There is also a mild light bulb on the charger to help the elderly look for the charging device easily in the dark. To prevent STICKu from being lost, it reminds users if they unwittingly leave their mobile phones or StickU behind. Once the STICKu is fully charged, it can be used for two to three days. However, if the battery drops to below a certain level, some of the functions will stop so as to save power for emergency use.

The Hong Kong Business Awards was held on April 19, 2018 at Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong.

This year’s winners were judged by Charbon Lo, Director at Crowe Horwath (HK) CPA Limited; Kevin Lam, Partner at ShineWing; Matthew Tong, Audit and Assurance Director at Baker Tilly Hong Kong; Zhang Tian Bing, China Consumer Products and Retails Sector Leader at Deloitte; and John Poon, Head of Accounting and Outsourcing Solutions at Mazars Hong Kong.

If your company would like to join the 2019 awards and have your product recognised as one of the most excellent in Hong Kong, please email eleonor@charltonmediamail.com.

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