A BED that converts into an exercise station and is one of Essex’s finest inventions. In newly released government figures
Other inventions include a caregiver abuse monitoring system and a vehicle headlight system that lowers the beam when an oncoming vehicle is detected.
An exercise ward bed that capitalizes on the home exercise trend and a monitoring device that alerts authorities to possible signs of abuse being suffered by patients in care are just two of the 96 inventions dreamed up in Essex in 2021.
Numbers show that Harlow was Essex’s most innovative local authority in 2021 with 14 published patent applications. It was followed by Colchester in second place with 12 applications and Tendring in third place with 10 applications.
Despite having one of the largest populations in Essex, Thurrock came last with only 1 patent application.
Harlow’s inventions include a vehicle headlamp system that detects light from oncoming vehicles and automatically provides low beam illumination of the oncoming vehicle, preventing glare and discomfort to other road users. One made by Lazer Lamps Ltd. Invented sensor system based on camera light would be installed in the vehicle and allow road users to permanently use a high beam at night, while the sensor automatically changes the beam when other vehicles are detected.
An innovation by Epping Forest’s Ashley James Rolfe is a wearable device with sensors worn by patients and connected wirelessly to a hub device. The system would recognize movements and keywords that indicate abuse of residents. The wearable device would include a panic button that would trigger a video and audio recording capability through the hub, notifying the person/s receiving alarms through a cell phone that can access a live feed. According to the patent filing, both the wearable and the hub device could be disguised as everyday objects such as a watch (the wearable sensor) or an air freshener (the hub) so that others would not notice them.
Another innovation that caught the eye also comes from Epping Forest – it’s the bed frame that converts into a workout station. The invention of Colin Montgomery and applicant Zenith Pivotal Ltd offers home fitness enthusiasts a pull up bar and dip bars, all from the comfort of their own bed. The specification of the application indicates that limited floor space available in many types of housing can preclude effective home exercise, a problem that the invention can alleviate.
The information was obtained by the UK Intellectual Property Office through a Freedom of Information Act request from Essex-based accounting firm Devonports R&D, which specializes in tax relief for SMEs in research and development.
Discussing the numbers and inventions, Steve Collins, Director of Devonports R&D commented:
“It’s great to see that Essex continues to be a place of innovation and creativity. From caring for the most vulnerable in society to improving people’s everyday lives, Inventions of 2021 offers a great glimpse of how inventors have reimagined a post-COVID-19 world.
“At Devonports R&D we see the best innovations Essex has to offer every day and the new local authority figures we have received, together with the value of the inventions themselves, reinforce our belief that Essex is the best when it comes to innovation.”
Out of 367 local authorities in the UK, Harlow was ranked 101st overall. Westminster topped the list with 216 patent applications, followed by Wiltshire in second with 210 and Coventry in third with 167.
The total number of patent applications in the UK was 5,679.