Vol. 1, Issue 3 -- December-January, 1996

Pageturner Design Team

by Mike Lessig

Over the last several months, the Pageturner Design Team has continued to work on several items. These items include:

The design team has developed the final draft of the product design specification and has decided on the top five features which need to be included in the design of the pageturner. These features are:

  1. The device must be capable of handling the following types of materials:
    • hard-cover books
    • soft-covered books
    • magazines
    • loose-leaf notebooks
    • newspapers
    • loose sheets
    • pamphlets
  2. The device must be capable of turning pages in both forward and backward directions.
  3. Paging options such as:
    • speed of pageturning is controllable
    • turns a large number of pages at a time
    • turns to index or table of contents directly
    • opens book half way through
    • able to count pages
    • able to go to a specific page number
    • includes a bookmark
  4. Interface compatible with popular adaptive control methods, to include:
    • voice input
    • wheelchair joystick
    • switches
    • PC software
  5. Cost in the neighborhood of $1500 retail (preferably less then $500).

Also, a pageturner questionnaire was created and sent out to the mailing list of the Consumer Innovation Laboratory. Questions were focused on how much time people spend reading, which types of reading materials are most important, whether people have trouble turning pages, and which features are important to consumers. Responses were received from approximately 40 individuals with the results included in this issue of The Innovator.

The patent investigation has continued and several different patents concerning paper manipulation have been reviewed. Other patents will also be studied in order to gather further information.

The design team is currently brainstorming on possible ways to turn pages and how the pageturning device should operate. So far, about 50 ideas have been developed and these ideas must be reviewed to decide which of them will be feasible and be able to turn pages effectively.

On December 1st, members of the Pageturner Design Team traveled to Maddak, Inc. in Pequannock, New Jersey. The group met with company officials and engineers to get their input on the project. This provided valuable information since Maddak has marketed a pageturner previously.

The Pageturner Design Team will continue to press forward with this project. The meetings are now held every other Friday from 3:00 to 4:30 in the ASEL conference room. If you would like more details on this project or would like to come to a meeting, please contact Rich Mahoney at (302)-651-6833. Information is also available on the Internet at:

For more information, check out the Pageturner Design Team Home Page.