PRODUCT DESIGN SUPPORT
Design Born from Empathy.
WHILL is a start-up company based in Japan and Silicon Valley. It develops an entirely new type of personal mobility in order to shape the future of wheelchairs. Its members are young, and includes former Sony and Olympus engineers and former Nissan designers. The company aims to create a personal mobility with a sleeker look and better travel performance than ever before, which can also be used by wheelchair users.
WHILL was initiated by the words of a wheelchair user, who said, “I gave up going out even for 100m to a convenience store.” Two issues existed there: a mental issue in which the user felt that the conventional wheelchair was unattractive and made the person look like an invalid, and a physical issue in which the user’s range of activities were limited due to sloped or rough roads. In order to solve these problems, WHILL was launched with an ambition to develop cool-looking and comfortable personal mobility and to bring innovations to wheelchairs.
Although the maker movement has been advocated lately, it is not hard to imagine how difficult it is for a startup company to create personal mobility from scratch.
Commercialization of personal mobility vehicles is subject to a number of limitations. Many legal requirements must be met, while creating products that can provide a comfortable ride and operability for each user who has different disabilities. There is a determination to boldly tackle this difficult task and to globally expand its business. TAKT PROJECT empathizes with this and provides support for WHILL’s product design work.
WHILL is not just making personal mobility. Its activities contain various meanings—creating joy for WHILL users, of course, but also creating a future society and its own way of working, and paving a new way through its products.
We are involved with WHILL because we agree with all of these activities that are giving us an idea about the next era.