The story of the Pebble and LastBasic: How technology meets with mental health

Ideas are the fuel for solutions that change our daily lives, but making them a reality can be a difficult task.

Pebbles in hands

LastBasic is focused on making it easier, quicker, and cheaper for inventors to turn these ideas into tangible and workable solutions for today’s issues. Our digital platform enables inventors to share their ideas with a diverse field of experts in industrial design and engineering from around the world and create a prototype together.

Inventors changing the game

When we look back on inventions, we tend to focus on the end product, and it is easy to overlook everything that comes before it. Coming up with ideas that are feasible can be a lengthy process, but idea generation is just the start. Once an idea has been refined, then comes the part of turning it into something real, and a critical step in this process is prototyping.

Rob was at a dead-end about how his solution could be turned into a reality.

Rob Middleton, a UK-based local politician and councillor, didn’t see himself as an inventor or entrepreneur until he realised he had a solution to a problem that was not only holding him back but countless others. Before reaching out to LastBasic, Rob was at a dead-end about how his solution could be turned into a reality.

He had suffered from anxiety periodically during his adult life. Like many, he had done his best to manage the symptoms himself. The enduring taboo around mental wellbeing meant this was tough to say the least. Only when his anxiety grew into panic attacks did Rob decided enough was enough and he had no choice but to tackle what had been a millstone around his neck for more than a decade. Through his own journey with mental health, he found that most treatments were either expensive, highly medicalised, inaccessible to the general public or all three. Despite being extremely busy as local councillor and new father, Rob felt that he had a duty to change this situation and improve access to mental health support for others.

Young woman crying

Rob was fortunate to be in a position to seek private therapy sessions, which is where he first encountered EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) therapy – a therapy designed to alleviate the anxiety associated with painful life events – which is where he developed his idea.

The Pebble not only helps banish the symptoms of anxiety, but also helps alleviate day to day stress whilst promoting an overall sense of wellbeing.

The Pebble, a lifestyle product which balances flawless design and practical functionality, makes use of a technique called BLAST (Bi-Lateral Alternating Stimulation Therapy). The Pebble not only helps banish the symptoms of anxiety, but also helps alleviate day to day stress whilst promoting an overall sense of wellbeing.

Developing The Pebble with LastBasic

Rob turned to LastBasic’s innovative Product Development Marketplace, which allows anyone with a hardware tech idea to convert it into a functional prototype using a community of expert industrial designers and engineers. LastBasic provides a quick and cost-effective service, with a transparent approach allowing inventors to be guided through the prototyping process, whilst maintaining a high level of control over their product.

Pebbles tower

Before discovering LastBasic, Rob had contacted several traditional consultancy companies in the UK and beyond. Some of his attempts of contact were met with silence which implied that these consultancies were not interested in doing business with individuals with a smaller budget. Other consultancies had some communication with him, but once Rob explained what he was looking for, he was presented with huge associated costs. LastBasic’s competitive costs, efficiency, and accessibility, challenges the engineering consultancy model in a way that fulfilled Rob’s needs. Using the LastBasic platform, Rob saw many benefits, including:

  • A high-quality product that challenges the status quo. Revolutionising the daunting, medicalised industry of health tech was the central goal when designing the Pebble. LastBasic’s high standards resulted in a prototype which was aesthetically pleasing, yet functional, and thus more agreeable for the average consumer.
  • Giving control back to inventors. A self-confessed perfectionist, Rob had a clear perspective on what he wanted to achieve with LastBasic. The online platform facilitates sustained contact with the LastBasic team, empowering inventors to be involved in the prototyping process in a way that Rob found impossible with traditional engineering consultancies.
  • A shared skill set for a great working relationship. Thanks to his career experiences, Rob is highly skilled in communication and presentation, but had no experience with prototyping prior to working with LastBasic. LastBasic’s experts complimented Rob’s existing skillset and brought a focus on functionality to the table.
  • More cost-effective solution. Rob believes he saved tens of thousands of pounds creating the Pebble with LastBasic rather than using the traditional engineering consultancies which had quoted him much higher rates for a less effective service.

“LastBasic are a highly professional and approachable team, which makes them stand out to me. The payment process has been quite flexible, and I’ve saved tens of thousands of pounds by using LastBasic over an engineering consultancy. The latter just don’t cater to individuals who want to bring forward a solution. LastBasic was a much better choice. They help you to work out your own solutions in an empowering way.”

Solutions like Rob’s could have a significant positive impact on people suffering from anxiety, which there is clearly a need for.

Rob’s Pebble is in the final stages of production, and he is extremely excited to move onto the next stage of development. Mental health has become a significant topic in the UK, particularly following the pandemic, with 50% of people saying their mental health worsened. Solutions like Rob’s could have a significant positive impact on people suffering from anxiety, which there is clearly a need for. LastBasic’s platform is here to help inventors like Rob bring their ideas to light. Whether you are a one man band or an established company, everyone matters.

[Robert Middleton is Labour Councillor representing the Wolverton Ward in UK].

Topics: #MentalHealth #Inventors #TechHealth

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How to become an inventor in 4 steps
The Democratization of Product Development: A World for the Brave
4 BIG moves for developing your tech project