13 June 2017 • by Lotte Hoes
Staying independent longer with Clocktivity
Start a company that uses technology to solve a social problem. This was the assignment given this year to first-year Industrial Engineering & Management students in Delft during the ‘Jong Ondernemen’ (young entrepreneurs) project. A group of eight students came up with the Clocktivity, a kind of tablet intended to help elderly people suffering from dementia in their daily lives.
The Clocktivity helps people living with dementia, as well as others unable to structure their lives, to remember what they have to do. Things like brushing their teeth, taking their pills or walking the dog. By getting help from this ‘reminder tablet’, they can stay independent longer. Elmasije Kurul, one of the company’s founders, says there are lots of other devices that support dementia patients. ‘But what makes the Clocktivity unique is that it is entirely configured to the person who uses it. And, unlike an iPad, you can’t accidentally click on the home button that will take you out of an app. This is the kind of thing that confuses some users to distraction. With the Clocktivity, you can’t even get out of the programme because there’s no button that lets you do so.’
The prototype for the Clocktivity already exists, but exactly when the final version will come online is not quite certain yet. ‘We’re now working on establishing contacts with care homes,’ says Elmasije. ‘There’s also a lot of other things involved in running a company. Fortunately, the second-year students who participated in the Jong Ondernemen project last year helped us get started,’ says Elmasije. ‘And we’re receiving lots of other support because we have an external coach as well as another one here at our school: Paulien van Gool. They help us make the big decisions.’ And they’ve obviously been the right ones because Clocktivity has now sold 75 shares. ‘Mostly to friends and family. With that money, we can acquire new Clocktivities!’