For most people with disabilities or mobility impairments, the first obstacle after waking up in the morning is making the bed. Thanks to a Canadian inventor, doing so is now effortless.
After seeing how her uncle, a wheelchair user, struggled to make his bed, Tina Cayouette wanted to create something that would lessen the load for him (and others). The result? The Smart Duvet.
She went onto Kickstarter.com, a website where innovators can get crowdfunding to start businesses, and acquired enough financial backing to turn her idea of a self-making bed into a reality. The Smart Duvet uses an extremely light, inflatable sheet that is easily hidden by just inserting it into the duvet. This sheet is connected to an air pump, which can be placed under the bed.
The pumped air is connected to the owner’s cellphone via the Smart Duvet app. At the push of a button, air is blown into the sheet, lifting the duvet and straightening it out on the bed.
The app also allows users to set a time for the bed to make itself. It works exactly like setting an alarm on your phone – choosing a day and time.
“I thought about my uncle, who is in a wheelchair. For him, making the bed was quite a task,” says Cayouette. “For him, and for anyone who has limited mobility, this app will be enable them to feel more independent: to be able just to press a button and their beds will be made.”
She says that although her main purpose of the Smart Duvet was to make life easier for people with disabilities, she has been surprised by how many “lazy” abled people are interested in her product.
The Smart Duvet went on sale in December 2016. Be aware, though – this helping hand costs more than a regular duvet. A single- bed fitted Smart Duvet costs (at the time of writing) R5 500. But for many people it will be decidedly worth the investment.