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Smart Lace design proposal

Nicola Ainsworth

Highly commended

for addressing an inclusivity need.

Project title

Smart Lace


U101 Design Thinking

About me

I live with my husband and four children in Norfolk. I have been self employed for 9 years, selling my designs on greetings cards and prints. Following my studies with the Open University I hope to progress into employment within the design industry, possibly within interior design.

The Smart Lace is a motorised shoe fastening device that can be transferred between shoes and promotes independence for those who have physical impairments.
The design is inspired by my husband who is without a left hand and uses a prosthetic leg. His impairments make it difficult to tie shoelaces and he is unable to wear slip on shoes due to stability issues. This creates a dependence on others to tie his laces and restricts his choice of shoes. Smart Lace allows for my husband and others with similar impairments to independently fasten their desired shoes.
My brief was 'Design a way to fasten footwear that is transferable to other shoes and promotes independence for those who have physical impairments.
Following research on solutions currently available and a successful creative session I created the Smart Lace device. Laces are replaced with a motorised cord and pulley system. Once fitted the user can fasten shoes with the touch of a button, either on the device itself or within an accompanying app. The plus button tightens the shoe, whilst the minus button loosens. A rechargeable battery powers the motor with a manual override in situ. All plastic elements would be made from recycled plastic that would otherwise be sent to landfill.

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