7 Best Gadgets for People with Disabilities
The main function of every newly-invented gadget is to make life easier, and no one needs an easier life more than people with disabilities. People who are physically or mentally challenged need—often terribly—a reliable tool or gadget that makes their life much easier and makes them able to live just like other people live. Although there are not many gadgets for those people, some recent inventions can actually make their life much easier. Here are the seven best gadgets that people with disabilities can use to make their life easier, happier, and livelier.
DEKA Robotic Arm
Various robotic arm models have been developed over decades. These arms are designed not only to replace the limb that is lost due to injury or amputation but also to perform mechanical functions that make them truly functional arms. DEKA robotic arm is the latest model that is developed under DARPA’s sponsorship, perhaps because war veterans make up the biggest population of people with lost limbs. DEKA robotic arm uses the latest robotic technologies that allow it to emulate a real arm with a high precision level and with a simple structure to remain lightweight.
Mac Funamizu’s Sign Language Interpreter
The inability to interpret sign language often becomes the biggest communicational challenge between hearing-impaired people with their family members and friends. With this sign language interpreter, this challenge can be practically solved. This gadget is basically a necklace with a tiny camera suspended on it. The camera will capture the hand movements when turned on and then interpret those movements into oral language, allowing people with no knowledge of sign language to understand it. Users can adjust the volume of the voice easily and set the type of voice that they want this interpreter to speak in.
Dot Watch Braille Smartwatch
For an obvious reason, the luxury of wearing a fancy watch is very rarely reserved for blind people. With the release of Dot Watch Braille Smartwatch, this is not the case anymore. Unlike the mainstream watches with their digital or analog glass display, this watch is completely opaque with dynamic dots that form braille signs on its surface. Blind people can easily read this watch by touching its surface. Despite the apparently complex mechanism of this watch, it is actually quite lightweight with its total weight of only 33 grams.
Kenguru Electric Car
For wheelchaired people, entering and exiting a car are already challenging, let alone driving it. Kenguru electric car is the first car that is released to help them deal with such a challenge. This electric car consists only of an empty cabin that can be entered by them from the car’s back. Once the wheelchaired driver enters the car, they can operate it using the motorcycle-like steering handle. All of the car’s operations, including the driving mechanism and the opening and closing of the rear door, are performed electrically, making it the first disability-friendly and eco-friendly car.
Another luxury that blind people rarely have a chance to enjoy is using a smartphone. When virtually everyone on earth is busy with their smart devices and the huge virtual world of information, communication, and entertainment that they offer, blind people are often kept in the dark corner. With this braille smartphone, they will no longer be castoffs of the digital world. The smartphone, though still a conceptual work, features only braille interface, with all appearing letters and numbers translated into braille signs. In the future, the smartphone is also expected to feature an embossed image that allows blind people to “see” the image that the smartphone displays.
Blind people can still use their fingers to operate the phone, but what if you don’t have the necessary limbs to use your phone? Sesame phone provides a handy solution for such a problem. Inspired by the all-inclusive gadget that was used by Stephen Hawking, Sesame Phone is a touch-free phone that allows you to operate it with the movement of your heads. Even if you cannot touch it, the phone can read your head’s gestures and translate them into preprogrammed phone functions.
OrCam is a pair of spectacles with a small camera embedded to them. What is special about the camera is that it can read any words on any surface and then translate them into audible voices that the wearer can understand. These spectacles are thus useful for blind people who need to read signage, supermarket products, restaurant menu, and anything that is written. In addition to reading words, these spectacles can also recognize a face and facial expressions.