Modern technology has always been at the forefront of revolutionizing human lives. From IT and communication to energy and aviation – technology has transformed various industries with the goal of making human life more comfortable.
Likewise, new-age technology has also found many applications in medical science. From cutting-edge surgical procedures to advanced medication for chronic diseases – medical technology constantly strives to help people live longer and healthier lives.
It’s only natural for scientists, engineers, and medical researchers to storm into the domain of disabilities. Today, people with disabilities no longer have to remain confined to their homes at the mercy of braille readers, hearing aids, and wheelchairs.
Instead, they can use sophisticated assistive technology solutions to overcome their disabilities. This, in turn, gives them greater control over their lives and helps them accomplish all their goals and aspirations.
Irrespective of the type of disability an individual might be experiencing, there’s a vast range of assistive technology that can make their life easier. In this blog, we’ll explore a few such tech innovations that are helping people with disabilities. Let’s get started.
1. Braille Smartwatch
The advent of the internet and social media platforms has changed the way people communicate. But these technologies aren’t easily accessible to people with partial or complete vision loss. It doesn’t mean people with vision impairments shouldn’t be able to read messages and check notifications on their social media profiles.
This is precisely what a Braille smartwatch helps them accomplish. Developed by a South Korean startup, the Dot Watch is the world’s first Braille smartwatch. It consists of four cells, each comprising nine dots that can rise up or go down to form different Braille letters.
The device unveils four Braille letters at any given time and pairs with your smartphone via Bluetooth. This means whenever you receive a message, notification, or email on your phone, you can read it using a Braille smartwatch. Better still, people with vision impairments can use the device to read lengthy pieces of text, including books.
2. Touch-Free Smartphone
Smartphones have become an indispensable part of modern life. Whether you want to order food from your favorite takeaway joint or capture precious moments on a family holiday, you always have your smartphone at your disposal. Yet this same device can prove to be a bane for people with mobility impairments and dexterity issues.
This is where a touch-free smartphone, such as the one developed by Sesame Enable, steps into the picture. Using advanced computer vision technology, the Sesame Phone is designed to be operated via subtle head movements by the user.
This means all you need to do is move your head in different directions to browse the phone and access different apps. The head movements are tracked by the front camera of the phone and the necessary action is carried. The phone is also equipped with other features, such as a voice assistant, to enhance the hands-free experience.
Apart from touch-free smartphones, Sesame Enable has also developed hands-free solutions for regular Android and iOS phones. You just have to ask someone to install them right on your phone. It’s particularly useful for quadriplegics, as well as people with Parkinson’s disorder or rheumatoid arthritis.
3. Mobility Scooter
Mobility aids for people with disabilities have come a long way since the manual wheelchairs of yesteryears. Today, you’ve got access to some of the most awesome-looking and versatile mobility scooters that can make moving around easier and more convenient.
Whether you’re recovering from a serious leg injury or have a permanent mobility impairment, a mobility scooter will always come in handy. It’s ideal for navigating the outdoors, including steep slopes and rough terrains. This also makes it suitable for senior citizens looking to go out and run errands without straining their weak knees.
It is, however, worth mentioning here that getting a mobility scooter involves a substantial financial investment. Also, you’ll need sufficient storage space in your home to keep the vehicle.
If you’re still in two minds about getting a mobility scooter, you could also consider renting. Click here to find out more about the factors you should keep in mind before deciding to buy or rent a mobility scooter.
4. Sign Language Glove
Communicating with people who don’t understand sign language can be a herculean task for people with speech impairments. This, in turn, can force them to retreat into a shell and avoid expressing their feelings and opinions.
The good news is that scientists across the globe are working to develop cutting-edge sign language gloves that can interpret hand movements and translate them into speech.
Typically, the glove comprises multiple sensors and a transmitter. The sensors are placed along the length of the fingers and connected to the transmitter. The sensors detect hand movements and finger placement and convert this information into electrical signals.
These signals are then wirelessly sent to a smartphone via the transmitter. Ultimately, the phone converts these electrical signals into speech and helps people with speech impairment find a voice, even amidst strangers who aren’t well-versed with sign language.
Having a permanent or temporary disability doesn’t define an individual. They’re just as capable of leading a happy, successful, and rewarding life as any other person on this planet. New-age tech innovations, such as the Braille smartwatch and sign language glove, are making this process easier.