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Five technology advances in 2017 that can help people with disabilities

If you have a disability or medical condition, maintaining independent living is not always straightforward. Luckily, technology is advancing at a rapid rate and researchers are doing amazing things with assistive technology. Here are five technological advances from 2017 that can support you in your everyday life.  

Self-driving wheelchairs  
Panasonic has created its own self driving wheelchair, which aims to help those with limited mobility travel around airports.

Travelers in need of assistance can call for a wheelchair with just a few taps on a dedicated smartphone app, summoning a chair to their location. The devices will transport passengers around the airport according to their request and are even capable of storing themselves away at night.

Guidesense is a box-shaped device for people who are visually impaired. It is worn like a heart monitor on the user to detect obstacles in the environment around you by using radar sensors.

It’s a great tool because by detecting objects around the wearer it can help them to move around more safely, prevent accidents and injury, and enable people to feel more confident when out and about in the world.

Talkitt is an application that helps people with speech impediments or language disorders to communicate with others. It can be downloaded onto a smartphone or tablet, and will translate seemingly unintelligible pronunciation into speech, allowing others to understand what the user is saying. The application uses speech patterns to create personal speech dictionaries, which are used to translate speech into any language.

As well as allowing people to communicate more easily, it is hoped that the data the app gathers in its speech database will help medical research centres and universities to further their research and understanding into neurological and cognitive diseases.

Self-driving mobility scooters 
Driverless vehicle options now include mobility scooters, thanks to a company called MIT. They’re suitable for both indoor and outdoor usage and researchers hope they will provide users with much more freedom.

Systems are also fitted with features including ride booking and the ability to respond to immediate changes in the environment.

Sesame phone 
The sesame phone is a completely touch free smartphone, designed by and for people with disabilities.

The device tracks the head movements of the user using the phone’s front-facing camera and these movements are then combined with vision algorithms to create a cursor for the phone screen. The cursor is then controlled by the position and movements of the user’s head.

Voice control is also available on the device, activated by the command “open sesame.”

This blog is for information only and Fish Insurance does not endorse these products or services.

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