Powered Clothing Designed To Assist The Elderly
Superflex is adapted from military apparel technology to help the aging population continue to live independently
It is estimated that one-third of seniors have mobility restrictions that restrict independence. A research tank called SRI International and a group of investors have launched a company called Superflex that specializes in apparel that enhances strength to increase mobility for aging populations.
Superflex has a team of textile, industrial design, robotics, biomechanics, and data scientists that are working together to create a new category of “powered clothing.” The company’s lightweight can be worn underneath any outfit and has integrated electric “muscles” that give additional strength and mobility to the muscles and joints of the wearer. The goal of Superflex is to be a product recognized for its ability to enable everyone to achieve their full physical potential.
The Superflex exoskeleton technology, which has been popularized by fictionalized videogames such as Call of Duty, was originally designed to reduce injury risk for soldiers. Seeing the potential of the product outside of a military setting SRI decided to explore the technology to see how it could serve a larger audience. The company realizes the potential of the apparel in a number of sectors including healthcare and recreation but wants to first to focus on the aging market due to the need and growing size of the population.
Superflex is hoping to unveil a product line by mid-2018 that will include a powered suit to help people with simple daily tasks and movements. The suit will be able to react to the wearer’s natural movements and provide assistance to complement the wearer’s strength when standing up, sitting down or standing upright.