From providing help with reading despite a visual impairment, to keeping the deaf included in a group conversation, to helping patients with shaky hands have a meal independently, here are five assistive technologies that are helping the disabled get assistance when and where they need it.
Dot is a wearable that is also the world’s first Braille smartwatch. Dot is a practical solution that is more affordable than regular e-Braille devices, which may cost thousands, yet still works well for the blind. Dot helps the blind access messages, tweets, even books anywhere and at any time.
Technically, this tool functions with six dots on four cells found on the surface of the smartwatch.
These dots will raise or lower to form 4 letters in Braille at any time. It can connect via Bluetooth to any smartphone, then retrieve and translate the text (from an email or messaging app) into Braille for its owner.
Mobile phones may have become a common need for everyone, including persons with disabilities. But regular phones are not equipped for the needs of people with limited mobility and who find it difficult to operate a regular phone.
Enter Sesame Phone, a touch-free smartphone designed for people with disabilities.
This phone is designed to be used with small head movements, tracked by its front-facing camera. So you can access all the features of a smartphone without even touching this device. Gestures are recognized as if you were using a finger to operate it: swipe, browse, play, and more. Voice control is also added to provide a real hands-free experience on the phones.
By My Eyes is a super-cool application that helps blind people "see" the world.
It works by making a network that connects the blind with volunteers from around the world.
It is an easy way to ask for help for simple tasks like checking on the expiry date on a milk carton.
Volunteers will receive notifications or requests for help, and if they are too busy, the app can find someone else to step in and help. Each request will trigger a video call to volunteers so they can help the user.
For people without disabilities, wheelchair ramps and wheelchair-accessible restrooms are not things they notice.
Many public sites are also not equipped with these facilities. This is a source of inconvenience to those who require a wheelchair to move around.
AXS Map is a crowdsourced map that carries information about wheelchair-accessible ramps and restrooms in public places such as restaurants, hotels, shopping malls, and more.
The map also carries information about how well-designed these facilities are with the help of star ratings.
The deaf can communicate via one-on-one conversations using sign language or lip-reading, but about when a group conversation arises? Transcence offers a great solution that can still keep the deaf in group conversations.
In a conversation, with the use of each participant’s smartphone’s microphone, the app catches what they are saying then converts it into text in real-time.
Each speaker has its corresponding text bubble, differentiated by color, just like what you would find in a regular group messaging chat room.
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assist-Mi is an assistance application that helps disabled people to get assistance in real-time.
It is an app that connects service providers and caregivers with the disabled who may need their assistance at a moment’s notice. Services include help in getting to work, to go shopping for essentials or travel.
It has a feature called Mi-Profile, which provides a user’s needs, so the service provider knows what to do when assistance is requested.
The app also has two-way communication and GPS for better location info.
Liftware is a self-stabilizing handle on which you can attach an eating utensil like a fork or spoon.
It is beneficial for patients who suffer from Parkinson’s disease or other forms of motion disorders that cause hand tremors. Liftware stabilizes up to 70% of the disruption and helps reduce the spilling of contents from the utensil before food reaches the patient’s mouth.
Each liftware comes with the stabilizing handle, a charger, and three utensils, a spoon, fork and soup spoon.
Each charge can last for several meals, and the handle can be wiped down while the spoons and fork can be washed like a normal utensil.