Designing Assistive Technology: Empowering Smartbox Users Through Innovation

With our expertise in designing assistive technology, we enabled Smartbox to overcome their customisation challenges, enhancing users’ lives by making their communication more efficient.
Health Tech Assistive Technology
Our role in designing assistive technology solutions led to significant enhancements in Smartbox users’ lives. The improved communication capabilities provided by the second screen proved to be highly valuable in various situations, promoting user independence and better quality of daily life.
What we did:
  • Collaborated with Smartbox in designing and prototyping a retrofit second screen for the existing Grid Pad 12 tablet.
  • Worked alongside Smartbox on successful user testing and feedback collection.
  • Assisted Smartbox in the manufacturing of their new product.
  • Helped find a supplier of an antimicrobial additive for moulded plastics.
Product Design Prototyping User Testing Manufacturing Support
The Challenge

For over 15 years, Smartbox Assistive Technology has been creating innovative solutions to help disabled individuals communicate and lead independent lives. However, they encountered challenges in meeting the growing demand for customised products, particularly for their Grid Pad 12 tablet. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, these challenges were further heightened by manufacturing and component sourcing difficulties and increased concern about virus transmission via devices. Smartbox needed to design a second screen for the Grid Pad 12 tablet, allowing the user’s speech to be visually displayed. This addition would enhance communication clarity and accessibility, but required specific design expertise and resources.

What We Did

Responding to Smartbox’s needs, Ignitec brought together a multidisciplinary team to contribute to designing assistive technology solutions. We co-designed and prototyped a retrofit second screen for the existing Grid Pad 12 tablet. This design took into account Smartbox’s existing hardware and the components reliably available during the pandemic. Once a working prototype was ready, we worked with Smartbox on user testing and feedback. Following this successful phase, we assisted Smartbox in the manufacturing process using our network of approved partners. For added safety, we helped locate a supplier for an antimicrobial additive for moulded plastics, which would reduce the risk of virus transmission via the device’s surface.


Designing assistive technology in partnership with Smartbox resulted in substantial improvements to user communication. The retrofit second screen became a critical tool for Smartbox users, proving valuable in a variety of environments. It offered clear visibility from different angles and enabled users to communicate effectively even in challenging settings. Although we didn’t have concrete numerical results, the impact was evident in the users’ daily lives. Our partnership with Smartbox demonstrated how designing assistive technology can make a significant positive difference to users’ independence and daily communication.

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What our clients say about us

"I had the opportunity to develop several concepts with Ignitec over the past 12 months. Ben provided a base (at the Ignitec offices) for us to really get creative and produce together some really next generation designs for Creo Medical. The Ignitec team have all been a pleasure to work alongside over the past 12 months and I wish them all the very best. I look forward to our paths crossing again soon for further collaborations!"

Tom Craven
Head of Design - Creo Medical Group PLC

"It has been a pleasure working with Ignitec. Their creativity has really helped add another dimension to our project, whilst their ability to rapidly and accurately sketch and bring our concept to life has enabled the project to comfortably meet a tight deadline. I would definitely work with Ignitec again and would happily recommend them."

Jeff Birkin
Managing Director - Ultramarine Safety ltd

"Thanks for being so attentive this year and getting things done so quickly for us... It's been really helpful to have someone experienced we can call on."

Dan Stead
Head of Hardware - Smartbox Assistive Technology ltd

"Thank you for all your help this year - there are many happy people receiving gloves this Christmas 🙂"

Adam Stark
Managing Director at Mi.Mu Gloves Limited

"I cannot recommend Ignitec highly enough - truly world class, extremely impressive creativity, professional, easy to work with, great value add ideas and very fast. I have no hesitation at all in endorsing Ignitec and look forward to working with them again on the next project."

Alan Woodhouse
CEO Cambridge Start-up ltd

  • It's rare to find a company so driven to please its customers. Ignitec have bent over backwards to help us get our fledgling product off the ground. The project hasn't... read more

    Zeke Steer Avatar Zeke Steer
    3rd August 2023

    Jeevika Sahajwani Avatar Jeevika Sahajwani
    23rd June 2023

    Ben and his team are just brilliant. In terms of quality, cost and every other important metric, Ignitec really deliver. Every encounter becomes a discussion with loads of good advice... read more

    UltraMarine Safety Avatar UltraMarine Safety
    17th May 2023
  • Ben and his team are just brilliant. In terms of quality, cost and every other important metric, Ignitec really deliver. Every encounter becomes a discussion with loads of good advice... read more

    UltraMarine Safety Avatar UltraMarine Safety
    17th May 2023

    Florencio Cabrera Fernandez Avatar Florencio Cabrera Fernandez
    14th April 2023

    I have worked with the Ignitec team for several years on many different projects and would highly recommend them to anyone in need of truly creative ideas and cutting edge... read more

    Christian Thorne Avatar Christian Thorne
    14th August 2022
  • Peter Bonnington Avatar Peter Bonnington
    14th June 2022

    Great guy's very friendly professional organisation

    Kev Parkin Avatar Kev Parkin
    14th June 2020

    A great company to work for with some of the best talent in the design industry.

    Dean Challis Avatar Dean Challis
    14th June 2019

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Need Help Designing Assistive Technology?

If you’re facing similar challenges as Smartbox and are looking for assistance in designing assistive technology, Ignitec is here to help. Let’s collaborate to create solutions that can positively impact the lives of your users.