People with disabilities are never left behind in life, and this holds true for technology as well. There are many types of assistive tech gadgets that are made specifically for people with disabilities to make things easier for them. They may not be able to help a blind person see (at the moment) or a speech-impaired person speak, but they can surely convey their message and provide help when needed. Below you will see five gadgets that can help disabled people.
UNI is a new gadget to assist deaf and speech-impaired people communicate with other people. It’s a two-way communication device that will detect sign language using its camera and immediately convert it into speech. On the other hand, it will also convert speech into text to allow two-way communication. Furthermore, it also has a built-in software to create custom sign language and customize it according to your need.
The device will be available for purchase the summer of 2016, but it is currently open for pre-orders. There are two versions: one with offline access and another that requires constant online access.
2. Tobii Dynavox PCEye Explore
Tobii Dynavox has created the PCEye Explore device to help people with limited movement control a Windows PC just with their eyes. It connects with your Windows 8/10 PC (laptop or desktop) and uses its eye tracker to let you control the mouse and perform clicks. It also has a built-in software to personalize PCEye Explore according to your needs.
You don’t have to worry about the light emitting out of it to track your eyes, as it is very low and doesn’t damages the eyes.
Tobii Dynavox PCEye Explore will cost you $899 for both the device and software.
3. BRAILLE EDGE 40
This is a braille device for blind people to let them control their PC, Smartphone or PDA. Braille Edge 40 connects with your device using Bluetooth or a USB cable and converts the text on the device display into braille. It also lets you navigate the device and its built-in buttons (like ESC, Tab, Shift, Ctrl, Windows Key, etc.) to make it easier to perform most of the tasks quickly.
Apart from a controlling device, it also has built-in apps and data storage capacity to carry your data with you. Its apps include Alarm, Notepad, Scheduler, Calculator, Clock, Stopwatch and Countdown timer. Additionally, it has support for a 32GB SDHC card to store documents and books and read them in braille.
Braille Edge 40 costs $2,795.
4. Sesame Phone
Sesame Phone is a completely hands-free smartphone phone made for people with limited movement (like paralysis or spinal cord injury). It is actually a modified version of Google’s Nexus 5 device that tracks the user’s head and allows full control of the phone just with the head. The head works as a finger and allows swipes, taps, gestures and more to control the smartphone. As it is based on Android, you can also download apps and use them with your head. You can even play games on it, although fast-paced games may not be the best choice.
Sesame Phone will set you back $700.
This is an eating utensil that allows people with motion disorders (like Parkinson’s disease) to eat their food without any help. Liftware is actually a stabilizing handle you can attach a Liftware eating utensil to, including a fork, spoon and soup spoon. The handle is capable of reducing hand tremors 70%, making it good enough for moderate tremors. It uses an on-board computer system to detect motion and then moves the handle in the opposite direction of the hand tremors.
You can buy Liftware for $195 along with additional utensils costing $34.95 each.
Blind people can also take advantage of the Be My Eyes app to get real-time help from sighted contributors. It connects sighted people with blind people via video call and uses both the rear and front cameras of the phone to give assistance to the blind person, like help crossing the road or reading something. As of this writing, there are over 365,000 sighted contributors and 27,560 blind people looking for assistance. Even if you are not blind, you can still download the app to help someone in need.
Above are a few devices to help people with common disabilities. They are not a solution to their disability, but they will surely make things a whole lot easier for them and help them enjoy their lives. These devices do cost a lot of money, and many people may not be able to afford them. However, I still recommend you contact the required device’s customer support to see if they have a device for donation, as some of these companies host donations to provide these devices to those who can’t afford them.
If you have any questions or need more information regarding a device, feel free to comment below.