One of the little joys of life is a perfectly browned toast and you know that you will get a perfect one each time the 3 minute timer is up! Charles Strite invented the automatic toaster that saved so many slices from being burned to a crisp because it is the most human thing to forget – and we forget things all the time, right from drinking enough water to getting up from our desks. However, taking care of ourselves and having medicines on time is something we can’t forget so a team of designers came up with a simple yet genius idea of combining reminders to take our pills with a playful toaster.
This 2020 European Product Design (Design for Society/Design for Elders category) award-winning product is a pillbox that stores a week’s worth of medication divided into days and pops up when it is time to take your daily dose. The traditional pillboxes can make you feel self-conscious but if you have one shaped like bread, everyone around you is going to ‘loaf’ it and want one too – bread has the power to make everyone happy! This toaster works for everyone but was specially made keeping the elderly demographic in mind as they tend to be more forgetful. This playful pillbox and reminder device bring some familiar relief while helping people to take their medication on time. Keep in mind that the older generation may not be most comfortable with using smartphones to set reminders or may not recognize the difference between alarms/reminder tones but the toaster helps because they don’t have to learn how to operate something new. Also, if you miss a reminder on your phone it won’t ring again but the bread slice pillbox will remain popped up which is a second visual reminder to take your medication if you miss hearing it.
You have three slices of “bread” that contain a week’s worth of medication and pop up at regular times each day along with flashing lights and vibrations. The toaster’s form also appeals to the emotional needs of users and reduces the depression caused by long-term medication through its bright colors and familiarity. The Toaster Medicine Box was a 2020 European Product Design Award winner in the Design for Society/Design for Elders category.
Designers: Ding Xiong, Liu Shan, Yang Yunyi of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and Xu Mengzhen of Fuxi Laboratory of China Resources Sanjiu Medical & Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.