Assistive technology has always observed the subtlest possibilities in creating added value for restricted mobility and by its evolution it has contributed a range of devices that aids in the daily life of many individuals with disabilities. Here are a few
Wheelchairs controlled by Tongue
A major breakthrough in wheelchair assistive devices is using tongue to maneuver a wheelchair. Which was different from the sip and puff system which functions using air pressure to move from place to place.
This New Technology functions by detecting magnetic field signals from a magnetic stud pierced to the user’s tongue. The users can execute commands easily and quickly based on the tongue’s position. The signals are detected by the headset which monitors the magnetic field sending instructions to a smartphone app. This New Technology can execute up to 6 commands depending on the tongue’s location. The users of this technology are glad that they have more independence over their current Assistive Technology.
New Eye-tracking Technology
Quadriplegic patients are who can benefit from this new technology. This Eye-tracking technology uses high-quality camera sensors to track the location where the user is gazing, almost to a distance of 1 cm. The gaze communication-based equipment can be used by the quadriplegic just as the abled persons using a mouse to control their computer. The New Technology assists the quadriplegic users perform numerous tasks like, sending emails, surfing the web, playing computer games and making phone calls. Also, the users can navigate the screen with eye movement to scroll, select and zoom.
This system functions by tracking the eye movement, so muscle movement is not required and this product has been a great help for the patients suffering from cerebral palsy, quadriplegia and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Researchers claim this above-mentioned product has led many Quadriplegic patients to lead a more independent life.
Virtual Assistant technology for quadriplegics
This speech recognition technology or software studies the way individuals speak or how they sound and optimizes their speech transcribing and responding to their instructions. In the beginning this technology was used to help people with dyslexia, in this technology of voice dictation, emails or documents can be created without using a keyboard or mouse. Same speech recognition technology in its advanced form can be used to control computer operations entirely. Like controlling mouse clicks, moving a cursor and using a printer as well. With the help of this speech-controlled technology the quadriplegia can individually function a variety of electronic devices. The Dragon speech recognition technology by Nuance Communications is the No.1 software in the world of its kind. This variety’s latest edition supports 8 different languages, also compatible with Mac and Windows devices. Mobile devices with voice control software are also widely available in the form of virtual assistants, some of the well-known versions are Cortana, Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant.
Still, these so far discussed virtual devices need to overcome some practical problems like requiring a quiet atmosphere, clear language/ assent to function with accuracy.
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