Permobil Chief Information Officer Olof Hedin demonstrating the connected wheelchair, which was one of the more notable product demonstrations at the CTIA Wireless trade show. The wheelchair was found in the AT&T booth.
This is Permobil's flagship product, the F5 wheelchair. While the price ranges depending on the country and specific health plans, the chair is in the ballpark range of $35,000.
This version of the F5 is a prototype for demonstration purposes. The engineers at Permobil met with AT&T in Dallas to discuss getting a cellular radio embedded into the wheelchair to fire off diagnostic information.
The F5 wheelchair has front-wheel drive, air compressors to alter the seat pressure, and a smartphone holder.
The wheelchair can relay data such as seat position.
The wheelchair can fire off data like the condition of the wheelchair to technicians, while sending out different data to clinicians or family members who want to know how the rider is doing.
The wheelchair can travel at a top speed of 7.5 miles per hour. That doesn't seem so fast, until you're actually sitting in the wheelchair, like this reporter.