Jake Rynkiewicz: Global
Creating attractive but affordable products for niche markets such as
the blind can be difficult. There are problems of both design and scale.
Products for the seeing-impaired have functional parameters that can
evoke stigma or separation. And the market is simply too small to keep unit
prices low. Rynkiewicz tackled both issues with Citrus, a robust sport
watch conceived for use by the blind but stylish enough to appeal to
a broader market. The watch’s slotted concave face allows users to tell
time through the sense of touch. Its spiraling stretch-rubber polymer
band fits all wrist sizes—and evokes a carefully removed orange peel.
Satellite technology and one-touch function lets users sync the
watch to local time anywhere on the planet. The designer even suggests
a marketing campaign whereby sport-watch customers might buy one
Citrus for themselves, and a second that would be donated to the American
Federation for the Blind. “Americans are some of the most charitable
people in the world,” says Rynkiewicz, who studied industrial design
at the Columbus College of Art and Design. “This product taps into that
desire to help others.”
Jessica Miller: Global
Approximately 1. 3 million Americans (and about two percent
of the global population) suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.
RA requires ongoing treatment, and patients often fill out
self-assessment questionnaires before doctors’ visits. Yet
even patients who see their doctors regularly have difficulty
providing an accurate report of their symptoms to their
physicians. This lack of information makes it difficult for
doctors to monitor the progression of the disease and the
effect of medications, making treatment less effective.
MyRA is an iPhone app that helps people with RA chart
their symptoms and share information with their doctors.
“Creating an app for users with joint pain presented unique
challenges,” says Miller, a design consultant in the Bay Area.
“Patients reported that certain gestures were more difficult
than others, like pinching to zoom, or drag and drop. So we
decided to use only single taps and scrolling.” With the
app, patients can monitor and record joint pain, stiffness,
medication routines, and lab results, and track household
activities. These data in turn generate graphs and other
mapping devices that can chart the patient’s progress and
help physicians devise individual treatment plans. MyRA
is currently available free on the i Tunes App Store.
Far left, courtesy Jake Rynkiewicz;
right, courtesy Jessica Miller