Assistive Tech Roundup

Over the last decade, we’ve witnessed an influx of technologies. It’s not just about the rise of the smartphone and the internet, but also in the area of incredible assistive technologies. Assistive technology has enjoyed the benefits of the growth in technology.

The explosive growth of the internet and software means countless products seek to make things easier for people with disabilities. To this end, we’ve gathered the top 10 innovative and interesting assistive technologies; 

Assistive Tech for Gaming and Computer Operation

Jouse3

Jouse3 allows children to operate a device using their mouth, cheek, or tongue. It is a sip-and-puff system that boasts high accuracy and quick response. The control device of a sip-and-puff system is like a joystick.

A child with paralysis or one lacking fine motor skills can still operate video games or draw by moving the controller in any direction. You can also mount it on any structure at home, like a bed frame or a desktop.

Microsoft’s Eye control software

Microsoft released eye control software in 2018. It allows windows ten users to operate their mouse pointer and type with an on-screen keyboard using eye-tracking technology. It also allows the user to communicate using text-to-speech.

This software was developed for people with severe mobility challenges. The user activates the software by resting their eyes on a launchpad for a predetermined amount of time.

Xbox adaptive controller

People with disabilities often watch longingly as their peers play video games, wishing they could join the fun. Microsoft answered their wish when it launches its Xbox Adaptive controller. The controller has large control pads and connectors for adding other switches and controls according to the user’s preference. It also allows disabled people to play alongside disabled and non-disabled players.

Educational devices

Ghotit

Ghotit is built for children with learning disorders like dyslexia, which makes them experience difficulties with writing. Ghotit focuses on helping children and adults who struggle to write accurately, mainly because spellings are counter-intuitive for dyslexia.

Ghotit’s artificial intelligence can learn from its user’s past errors. This helps it personalize suggestions for spelling and grammatical errors. It also has several features like text-to-speech technology and the ability to recognize split and merged two words.

Google Glass for autism

The assistive technology here is not Google Glass but one of the third-party apps that run on the platform. The app, Empowered Brain, helps children with autism better decode social cues.

The glass allows you to see the world through its see-through computer screen. At the same time, you can see what the app says on the screen. You can also hear what the app says through its bone conduction speaker.

Be My Eyes

Be My Eyes is an app that recognizes the dangers that befall people with visual impairment in a built environment. Hans Jørgen Willberg, who is also visually impaired, built the app as a remedy. 

It enables blind or low-vision people to connect with volunteers who can see clearly. These volunteers use the user’s video camera to assist them visually through any task. Be My Eyes is equally helpful on the streets as it is indoors.

Mobility Assistance

Stair climbing wheelchair

A Stair climbing wheelchair is an assistive technology primarily for people with mobility challenges, the ageing populations. It helps them move up or down the staircase with minimal help. A stair-climbing wheelchair features a seat, a mechanism to lift it, a power source for the setup, and a hand-operated control.

This device gives a measure of independence to people with mobility challenges because it helps them access buildings without ramps.

Power wheelchairs

Power wheelchairs provide their users with a significant level of independence. They do not always have to rely on someone to push them around, which is more beneficial to people with extreme mobility challenges.

A typical power wheelchair comprises a seat, drive system/chassis, controller, and power source. They are, however, more expensive than manual wheelchairs.

Home Tech for Elderly

Wireless Monitoring Devices

Seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia often forget previously familiar surroundings and people. There is also a risk of them wandering. Wireless Monitoring Devices provide a solution to the challenge that occurs when they wander.

These clip-on GPS gadgets attach to shoes, clothing, and accessories and constantly provide the wearer’s location. This significantly reduces the chances of the wearer getting lost or involved in an accident.

Fall Detection Watches

Fall Detection Watches are smartwatches that assist seniors with seeking help immediately if they fall or sustain injury. The primary purpose of these watches is not to prevent a fall but to alert relevant persons in the event of a fall.

Most smartwatch brands now include medicine reminder alerts too. This helps people with cognitive impairments avoid errors with their medication.

Final Thoughts

The assistive technology industry will keep growing and producing more innovations as we progress down the decade. Factors like advancements in AI technology, data collection, and the internet will play significant roles in this projected growth. And because of the benefits they bring, we expectantly await the innovations.

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