Finalist 2023

Umps Link

Umps / Tricycle Developments

The Umps Link, a pioneering safety-critical IoT platform, facilitates home-based healthcare with intuitive, stigma-free design and advanced sensor technology.

The Umps Link is the world’s first safety-critical IoT platform enabling the delivery of any healthcare application at home. It marries the latest in communications and sensor technologies with thoughtful user design to create a powerful, intuitive product that removes the stigma associated with traditional health-technology.

Design Brief:

Australia faces an unprecedented aged care shortage, with over a million people relying on government-supported care, a number projected to triple in 30 years. Aged care providers, families, and older individuals seek technology to transition care to homes and augment care workforces. Current solutions can perpetuate stigma and neglect users' holistic needs. The design brief aimed to create a safe, accessible, and desirable end-to-end platform for health applications, serving as an interface between users and clinicians, managing emergency responses and chronic disease care, and promoting comfortable user engagement from home.


This project was developed by:

Design Process

The design process for the Umps Link was both thorough and empathetic, informed by real world user insights. We cultivated a collaborative approach throughout the process, integrating input from a diverse reference group of users at every stage. By doing so, we could incorporate universal design principles that prioritised accessibility and versatility for a broad range of physical and cognitive abilities.

We harnessed the potential of contemporary sensor and communications technology, making intentional design choices to ensure our product harmoniously fits within the aesthetics and lifestyles of modern homes. This conscious design process involved a deliberate blend of light, colour, sound, and contrasting textures to create an intuitive, stigma-free health technology platform.

Our design execution was thorough, focusing on both quality and safety. The Umps Link is made of premium materials, and it is the only smart-home platform independently certified against AS4607:1999, the Australian standard for personal emergency response systems. These aspects substantiate our professional finish and attention to detail.

The design process didn't stop at the physical product. We extended our design to incorporate remote configuration and troubleshooting, accounting for users with low technology literacy. Further, we developed a range of health applications that utilise embedded home technology to proactively monitor user health and support chronic disease management.

Our design process was both comprehensive and iterative, emphasising user needs at every stage. This professional approach resulted in the Umps Link exceeding its initial brief, gaining significant market acceptance and setting a new standard for at-home health technology.

Design Excellence

FORM. The Umps Link delivers safety-critical services without compromising design. The form factor of the device resembles modern smart-home technologies, and integrates seamlessly into the home. The Pendant is elegant, discreet, and comfortable to wear, weighing just 14 grams and compatible with a range of customisable cases.

FUNCTION. The Umps Link’s interface employs light, colour, sound and contrasting textures to ensure accessibility for people with various impairments (hearing, sight, mobility, cognitive etc.). Every device is configured in the cloud, enabling remote troubleshooting for people with low technology literacy.

SAFETY. The Umps Link is the only smart-home platform to be designed to and independently certified against AS4607:1999, the Australian Standard enabling operation as a personal emergency response system. It uses multiple communications technologies and operates for 40 hours on battery in the event of a mains failure, ensuring high reliability and availability.

QUALITY. In addition to using premium finishes, including high end fabrics, cords and plastics, the Umps Link Hub has been designed with a target lifespan of 7+ years. The Umps Link Pendant is IP67 certified, and the Umps Link is manufactured in an ISO9001 and ISO13485 certified factory.

COMMERCIALITY. The form, function, safety and quality of the Umps Link are key differentiators in the competitive assistive technology market. More than 2000 Umps Link devices have been ordered since our launch in February, with leading community care and retirement living providers selecting the Umps Link over traditional competitors because of our design-led approach.

Through this blend of form, function, safety, quality, and commerciality, Umps Link not only satisfies but also advances the criteria for good design in Victoria, setting a precedent that has potential to influence design practices Australia-wide and internationally.

Design Innovation

The Umps Link is a completely new approach to assistive technology. As a platform enabling endless ‘healthcare applications’ at home, it creates a seamless home care experience for older people and people with disabilities.

Today, the majority of Umps Links are being sold as a Personal Alarm. As stated above, the form, function, safety and quality have set the Umps Link apart from traditional personals and driven mass uptake of the device in a very short time.

However, the Umps Link is much more than a personal alarm. Subsequent to our release, we are now developing a suite of new applications that use other ambient sensors. These include the proactive identification of declines in health and wellbeing through data collected by ambient sensors and applications to support the management of chronic diseases like dementia, heart disease and COPD. All of these applications make use of technology already embedded in people’s homes through the Umps Link personal alarm, enabling them to seamlessly add these applications as their needs progress.

The platform is truly unique in the way it communicates with the older users. The form, hierarchy of information, and the selection of colours, materials and finishes were developed through a deep understanding of standards and consideration of the product use and end environment.

At every touch point the platform provides information redundancy to help accommodate for older users of varying cognitive and physical abilities. This is achieved through feedback via multiple streams such as auditory, tactile, and visual notification.

Design Impact

At Umps, our purpose is to make healthcare at home seamless. The Umps Link is a key enabler in realising this purpose, with the potential to completely transform the way health and aged care is delivered across Australia and abroad.

Destigmatising personal alarms. Since launching in February, we’ve received orders for more than 2000 Umps Links, and forecast sales of 20,000 devices in Australia in 2023. This level of uptake is evidence that a design led approach drives preference for technology among older people and care providers, a user group that has typically been labelled as ‘technology illiterate’.

Transforming care. In January, Umps signed a Collaboration Agreement with Anglicare Southern Queensland (SQ). Anglicare SQ are one of the largest aged care providers in the country, delivering 300,000 community care visits every month. Our collaboration leverages the real-time, safety critical voice and data connection in the Umps Link to design a new model of more proactive and efficient care. Once complete, this project will become a reference case on how to seamlessly embed technology into a care delivery model, and inspire further investment into care technologies.

We are confident the project will drive greater demand for professional design. The project has been developed through agile and open communication, and is deep in design considerations and engineering investigations.

Through the Umps Link, we are demonstrating Victoria's ability to lead in design innovation, enhancing the state's reputation both domestically and internationally. The project’s success attests to the importance of investment in design, and we are confident the project will drive greater demand for professional design services.

Product Design 2023 Finalists

FOLI Acoustic Light

Samantha McKenzie / Makushla Harper / Morgan Cremasco - Acustico Lighting by Studio Acustico

SafeFlex

PhysiPal Pty Ltd / Design + Industry (D+I) / Design Junkies

Flock Light - The Biomotion Bike Light

Tim Ottaway / Project Flock Pty Ltd

Quad Lock MAG

Chris Peters / Leigh Ryan / Nish Parab / Marco Sebastiani

Ilume™ Dog Health & Wellbeing Suite

Design + Industry (D+I) / Ilume™

Eros Pro

Scott Wilkinson / Alderwood Speakers

Bouldering

Industrial By Nature

Tekpeg Clothespegs

Bamic Product Design

EMU - Erosion Mitigation Units

Reef Design Lab / Alex Goad / City of Greater Geelong / Ralph Roob (Senior Environmental Engineer at City of Greater Geelong)

Blackmagic Videohub

Blackmagic Design

Blinder 1300 Front Bike Light by Knog

Knog / Hugo Davidson / Mal McKechnie / Anton Van Maanen

Slideaway Sofa Bed

Eva / Tom Shaw

Voyager

Secure Parking

Maxi-Cosi® Pria Convertible Car Seat

Dorel Australia / Tricycle Developments

Headlokt OneLock Helmet

Cobalt Design / Headlokt