Imagine pausing during a walk and when you try to take the next step, your legs and feet don’t move, as if they are encased in boxes of cement. It’s called gait-freeze, a condition that is commonly associated with Parkinson’s Disease. A study in published in Neurology found that diverse conditions and disorders can cause gait-freeze. Primary progressive freezing gait (PPFG) is also a unique syndrome often with no other symptoms, according to a study published in JAMA Neurology. We wrote about tech designed to help Parkinson’s patients overcome gait-freeze with laser-equipped shoes. We also covered a smartphone app that uses augmented reality to create visual prompts for the next step within the app. Both solutions rely on using a different than usual region of the user’s brain to signal the body to take a step.

At CES 2022 in Las Vegas this year, the AARP Innovation Labs technology booster and accelerator showcased a variety of startups. The companies are working on solutions to issues that often arise in what the Innovation Labs terms as “the AgeTech space.” One of the solutions showcased this year was De Oro Devices‘ NexStride device. NexStride is a small, portable accessory that can be attached onto any cane, walker, or walking poles to improve mobility. NexStride was developed to aid people with gait-freeze, but De Oro Devices has expanded the scope to include anyone who can benefit from NexStride’s visual and audible mobility prompts.

The NexStride device consists of a 6-ounce rechargeable main unit, a hand controller, and bands to attach the device to your walking aid. The package also includes a retractable USB cable for charging, a USB wall adapter, and a user guide.

After attaching the NexStride, the presses a button on the hand controller to project a green laser visual prompt for the next step. The user can also configure the device to sound a metronome with user-adjustable volume and pace. According to the developer, the NexStride with a fully charged battery can operate for up to 6.5 hours of continuous use at maximum volume with both the laser and the metronome activated.

NexStride is available to purchase today for $499, including free shipping. According to the NexStride website, the device can be free for veterans through the V.A. The Parkinson’s Wellness Fund may also cover part or all of the cost in the form of a grant to patients with Parkinson’s Disease, according to the company. The NexStride website states claims the it is “fully compliant with all applicable FDA regulations.”

We like the universality of the NexStride device that allows it to be used by different or multiple walking aids. We also appreciate that the user can use either or both prompts on demand and can easily adjust the sound’s volume and the speed.