Unless you’ve been living off the grid for the last few years, at some point or another, you’ve probably seen a social media post or read something about the Whill. It’s a mobility device designed by a team of former auto-industry engineers that aims to change the way people think about wheelchairs by offering a slick and radically different look and a new drive system that allows tight indoor turning and all-terrain outdoor functionality.
As a fan of innovation and someone who knows firsthand how desperate the wheelchair industry is for innovation, I’ve been watching Whill’s evolution since images of an earlier prototype popped up on my Facebook feed. This past summer I visited the company’s nondescript Bay Area headquarters south of San Francisco to see the Whill first hand and find out more about what the company is planning. I’m saving the details for a future feature story, but it’s fair to say I came away intrigued.