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Device Helps to Put Your Socks on

Device Helps to Put Your Socks on

March 28, 2014

When a regional competition in the lower North Island said “sock it to me” they got exactly what they asked for.

The BCC (Bio-Commerce Centre) in Palmerston North holds an annual Innovate programme for anyone in the region with a vision for a business, a new invention, early-stage research, technology with commercial potential or a creative solution to an everyday problem.

Harris Mills from Wanganui had a problem and a solution so he entered Innovate last year.

Harris, in his 70s, had trouble putting his socks on so he invented a device that did it for him. The alternative would have been bare feet and carpet slippers.

Harris entered the competition, reached the final and now his “socks on with ease” device is being manufactured. He realised there must be thousands of people throughout New Zealand like him who have trouble bending over to put their socks on.

So for the disabled, elderly, overweight or people with sore backs, Harris had the answer. He socked it to the BCC and reached the final.

Harris just wanted people to find relief so he offered his device or applicator to Gregory and Cheryl Wright to market it.

Gregory’s a paraplegic so he knew what’s afoot and how to get a sock on it. The couple have produced and trialled the first prototypes and now they’re in production from this month.

In a series of moves a person uses the applicator to pick up the sock. It is then attached to the velcro on the applicator and the person lowers the device to the floor. By holding cords on either side they slip their foot into the sock and applicator and pull them up. The sock slides up the foot and the applicator is released.

However the applicator wouldn’t have been manufactured without the BCC or its Innovate programme.

Marketing Manager for the BCC, Dave Craig, says there are “hundreds of people in the region with a brilliant idea for business opportunities but the thought goes no further than their mind. It’s this creative genius that the BCC wants to tap into through Innovate 2014.”

“Our goal is to help establish businesses, attract staff and offer a valuable product to the community and the world. It’s really rewarding when, with our assistance, previous winners and finalists, such as Socks On With Ease, reach the production stage in establishing a business.”

Dave would love people or businesses out there to “pull their socks up” and enter the programme. Applications for this year opened on March 1 and close at the end of May.
ends

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