Wendy Thomson (inventor of the Health Swing) is another brave inventor who approached Dragons’ Den for investment, as seen on television last week. The Health Swing is a swing for exercising the whole body in a progressive non-weight bearing exercise regime. It can be used for many purposes from keep-fit right through to rehabilitation and provides resistance and feedback for motivation and regulation. After conducting some research on the web, Wendy Thomson contacted Innovate Design with her idea. Innovate Product Design helped Wendy by conducting a worldwide patent search and after finding nothing similar to her idea, we produced design boards based on her brief. She then went on to the prototyping stage and also applied for registered designs and trademarks.
The main challenges in getting her idea developed were amalgamating the design and structure as well as the psychological and physical ramifications demanded. Once the prototype was finished, Wendy had the prototype evaluated by Doug Cartwright at the prestigious HDTI Institute at Coventry University. Doug was given every assistance and help by Innovate Design. The results of the evaluation, the defining moment, satisfied all the main objectives she had identified at the outset. Wendy then became a finalist in the red dot international concept competition and also decided to apply for Dragons’ Den.
Having identified three markets for the Health Swing (leisure, gym and rehabilitation), Wendy decided the easiest route to pursue was the leisure market. Although Wendy did not win investment from the Dragons, she was offered help with contacts from Dragon Hilary Devey. Wendy is currently working out how to address the stability of the swing, whether to give it a bigger footprint or to secure it to the floor or from the ceiling. She is currently exploring licensing routes and self-manufacture options. Wendy has told Innovate she has very fond memories of her association with us and values our continued interest in her inventions.
We wish Wendy every success with her project.
Wendy’s appearance on Dragons’ Den: