Flash Pak is a smart inflatable PFD (Personal Flotation Device) designed specifically for groups of students whose schools are in regions where flash floods are prevalent. The Flash Pak is stored at schools with easy access for each student and would be distributed to students during an emergency evacuation. It is designed to be comfortable, fit close to the body, and be easy to put on and operate. The design utilizes key features including: an individual mesh-network device, a haptic navigation system, and a flotation device.
Imagine the piercing sounds of an emergency warning system interrupting a classroom of students. The students run out the door unsure of where to go to reach safety. There is a risk of getting lost or left behind in the commotion. Parents and teachers are worried about the safety of their children.
As the emergency unfolds, students are guided to safety through haptic cues synchronized with LED lights that indicate the direction to safety. In the case of getting caught in high water, each device inflates to create an individual floatation device; however, several Flash Paks can also be strapped together to create a raft. The mesh-network unit allows the students to connect and add nodes to an emergency communication system.
Country of Residence: USA
Yaokun Wu is an industrial design student at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. He feels grateful for everything he has and wishes to use design to help people who need it most. He believes design is everywhere, but only that which brings people warmth will never be forgotten.