WheelAIR, a new cooling wheelchair cushion, which has sparked interest among Scottish business leaders and the wider mobility industry, is due to enter the mainstream market at the start of next month when it will become available online.
The company is rebranding online and on social media channels from its former name, Staels Design, and the move will accompany a new website.
The firm has also announced double Paralympian and former team GB wheelchair rugby captain Michael Kerr as its brand ambassador.
The Scottish athlete lives in Glasgow where the wheelAIR team is also based. They plan to work together to promote the invention as it nears market launch.
Corien Staels, designer of wheelAIR and CEO of Staels Design, has already won a number of awards and prizes for her design which, alongside a crowdfund appeal, have helped to provide the investment needed to prepare the wheelAIR for market.
It uses inbuilt fan technology to not only cool the back, but reduce users’ core temperature by taking away excess heat and moisture. This allows for instant comfort and a reduced risk of hyperthermia. The wheelAIR cushion also offers extra support through a unique blend of carefully selected foams.
Speaking on his appointment as brand ambassador, Kerr commented: “When I first learnt about the benefits it could have for a huge number of chair users and especially for those with spinal cord injuries, I just had to get involved. It ticks all the boxes.”
Meanwhile, Staels, said: “Seeing athletes like Michael benefit from the wheelAIR is so rewarding and reinforces how life changing it could be for so many people. We couldn’t be happier to have Michael on board as our ambassador – we look forward to what the future holds.”
WheelAIR launched its £30,000 Kickstarter campaign in June in the hope of bringing the invention to market. In the same month it secured £100,000 from a business grant and most recently it won a business award valued at £31,500 including £15,000 in cash and £16,500 in business support.