NexStride’s story began when an amazing friendship developed from the shared dream of a young biomedical engineering college student named Sidney Collin and an American veteran named Jack Brill.
When Sidney was introduced to Jack, he told her how he’d struggled for years with Parkinson’s disease. Simply trying to walk was a major challenge for Jack. So much of his independence had been lost. Jack knew that there were visual and auditory signals or cues that he could use to be able to walk smoothly because he used them with his physical therapist, but when he went home he was in a wheelchair, unable to walk. Jack wanted to create a device that would allow him to use these visual and auditory cues at home to be able to walk – to go to the bathroom by himself or go on a walk with his wife, Sandy.
Sidney looked into these visual and auditory cues and found that there were already over 100 peer-reviewed articles showing the efficacy of these cues in improving walking. They were already standard of practice in any physical therapy clinic. She thought it was so ridiculous that these cues are so clearly effective, yet there wasn’t a way for Jack to be able to use them at home. She set out to create a way to make these physical therapy cueing techniques accessible anywhere.
Sidney promised to do everything in her power to help Jack. And just as Jack had thought, Sidney had the perfect educational background and passion for the task. She tenaciously explored the research and set to work developing a device that could help Jack walk.
When she was done, Sidney named her new invention NexStride. She designed it so it was small and discreet for Jack. Sidney also made sure it was easy to attach to Jack’s walker or cane. She even made the device’s metronome and green laser signal adjustable. This way, Jack could set his own pace at any time for whatever walking speed worked best for him.
Well, needless to say, Jack could not wait to try NexStride and when he did, he got going, and going meant walking anywhere, any time he wanted. The sheer elation of having his freedom back again and seeing his hope actually realized, was something he wanted to share with everyone.
Jack insisted that Sidney come and meet his Parkinson’s Disease support group. He wanted to tell them all about it. When Sidney obliged, she was surprised to meet a much larger group of people with walking challenges. Once this group of people saw Jack get up, walk, turn, then stride across the room and back, their jaws dropped. After their amazement at seeing Jack walk, they surrounded Sidney with requests asking if she could help them, too.
Once Sidney realized the profound impact of her invention on people’s confidence, sense of security, and independence, she decided then and there that she must make NexStride available to help more people. She and William Thompson, her fellow co-founder, launched De Oro Devices, a company inspired to build products that can improve mobility, independence, and quality of life.
“The NexStride is working beautifully. She uses the word ‘amazing’. She is moving about as she hasn’t for a long time. I would describe it as transformative for us.”
~ Thomas Brown, Care Giver
The journey has just begun
Today, NexStride has helped countless individuals take back their freedom and their confidence — and we’re just getting started. A single step can be vital and we’re honored to help you take it.
Want to learn more about NexStride?
Meet the Team
Sidney Collin is the inventor of NexStride, and is the co-founder and CEO of De Oro Devices.
Sidney has an academic research background in computational neuroscience, with a research paper published in the Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology.
In 2019, Sidney was awarded Cal Poly’s 2019 Outstanding Woman in Engineering Award, Outstanding Student Award, and the Lisa Hufford Scholarship Award. She has also been recognized as one of the most influential women at Cal Poly by the Wire in their 30 under 30 list, and as a business leader in the Pacific Coast Business Times’ 40 under 40 list.
Sidney holds a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
“There is an impeccable amount of research showing the efficacy behind the cues we use in the NexStride, but it still truly amazed me the first time I saw the first user try it out. It really changed the way he was able to live his life. For the first time in years, he was able to walk more than 10 feet by himself. He could get up and walk to another room or go to the restroom by himself, or even walk around the block. Freezing is incredibly debilitating, and we have a product that can make a real difference in people’s lives.” ~Sidney Collin
Co-Founder, Marketing & Operations
William Thompson is responsible for marketing, quality management, and operations for De Oro Devices.
William manages brand development, marketing strategy, customer support, quality management systems, and all technical infrastructure in use at De Oro Devices. A day in the office includes developing and improving strategies to reach Parkinson’s patients and caregivers across the country, interacting with customers seeking more information, automating and streamlining various marketing/sales/finance/business processes, and ensuring quality processes are being followed.
William enjoys mentoring Cal Poly students as an alumni mentor in the Cal Poly Career Connections program, volunteering for and attending events hosted by the PolyCon Club (board gaming), and hiking and camping on the beautiful Central Coast.
William holds an M.B.A. and a B.S. in Psychology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
“Seeing the NexStride work for the very first time in person was incredibly inspiring. Witnessing someone go from frozen to walking at the press of a button and knowing that I played a small role in that is one of the most gratifying moments of my life.” ~William Thompson
Supply Chain Director
Vanessa North is responsible for the procurement of all materials and the relationships with contract manufacturers.
On any given day, Vanessa might be negotiating volume and pricing with component suppliers, following up on delivery times and quality, and working with the contract manufacturer on production schedules or manufacturing issues. No two days are the same in the supply chain world.
Before De Oro Devices, Vanessa spent seven years working in Procurement & Business Operations at Apple. During her time with Apple, a proud achievement Vanessa remembers fondly was working across product launches, in particular the iPod Nano.
Outside of the business world, you can find Vanessa making use of her private pilot’s license to visit family and friends.
Vanessa has a Bachelors in Industrial Engineering from Cal Poly, SLO and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business.
“I learned about NexStride when Sidney was a speaker at my wine bar’s “Science After Dark” series of talks. I was impressed with how the product takes proven solutions from Physical Therapy and integrates them into an everyday product, but I was blown away with the poise, intelligence and passion of Sidney. I’m honored to be a part of this team, working towards helping people during a frightening time in their lives.” ~Vanessa North