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  28 months ago

Can smart and wearable technology transform the lives of disabled people? | #TolunaNews

Innovation and advancement in recent years enabled cutting-edge technologies to be released for the greater public, however, the convenience and functionality technology bring to most of us everyday could actually target and enhance the lives of those with physical disability and impairments.

Previously, the norm of “input” to a computer or mobile device was the traditional keyboard, but as society grows and adapts at similar speeds to technology released, voice-based input is increasingly common and the accepted way to control and navigate our smart devices from mobile phones to smart speakers and TVs.

In particular, people who are blind or have visual impairments are currently in luck, because while we leave the technological innovation and invention of voice-activated and AI systems to giant companies, smaller ones work tirelessly around the clock to find ways these can be targeted for those who may need them most.

An Edinburgh-based individual, Gavin Neate was inspired by his guide dog training job decided to set out to optimise these platforms, with one of the first applications he developed allowing disabled people to interact with a pedestrian crossing using their smartphone.

For everyday businesses, like shopping centres or coffeeshops, who want to ensure the smooth-sailing experience of all their clients, it may be sometimes difficult to know how exactly to do so, which is why the app ‘Welcome,’ was born. Neate’s latest app will allow the communication of any special needs or assistance requirements between the individual and the customer —before they even arrive!

What do you think about smart technology?

Do you agree with Robin Spinks, RNIB’s senior innovation manager, when he says “The possibilities are immense”?

Do you have any other ways in mind how we could use technology to our advantage to help those who are disabled?

Should this kind of innovation, in terms of apps, be left to the bigger companies? Or, is it a new market for smaller businesses and app developers to take hold of?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Influence your world,

Toluna Team


  28 months ago
Yes should be free or cheap


  28 months ago
i think technology has played a vital role in helping disabled people to make their life easier.


  28 months ago
I think that anyone and everyone should be trying to help people with disabilities.


  28 months ago
Tech can and has already transformed lives of many disable people such as those who can't talk can just text a message to ask for help, those who can't hear has ear impairment and also electric wheelchair has helped many people with disabilities.


  28 months ago
Yes I think it will make their lives easier


  28 months ago
Look it's no secret that technology can help the disabled more than the non-disabled, the only problem is that private companies will be selling these at a higher price that can only and might be bought by the well lived, what we need to ask is how can we make it affordable?. Old tech can be used to create advanced tech for the disabled from a wheel chair pushed on the sides of the wheel to automated.....


  28 months ago
It can but am worried about how much it will cost. The under previlaged people they will not afford


  28 months ago
For sure it will help them The just must create a computer for the blinds and where it can talk back to them


  28 months ago
Technology has been a great help to disable people. Wheel chairs are advancing. They are even building a robot which can help a disable person stand and walk. I have seen this on google.


  28 months ago
it will help a lot and make it easy for disabled
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