Using Tech Gadgets to Help the Disabled
We all know the advertised use of gadgets such as Amazon Echo, VR Headset and Smart Watches. But, how about thinking the additional uses of these gadgets to make lives of people with disabilities easier.
1. Self-Driving Cars
There are many self-driving cars which are being created and manufactured by leading companies such as Google, Tesla, Mercedes and Benz. These self-driving cars are pretty self-explanatory. They can drive themselves and don’t require any intervention or efforts from a person. They are being advertised as a safer option for people as they can make better ethical judgements with road rules which will cause lesser accidents. This, of course is very good considering 1.5 million people die every year in The US due to road crashes according to ASIRT.
But it has an additional usage for people with disabilities. People who are handicapped, people who suffer with vision loss and blindness, people diagnosed with Autism or intellectual disability, people suffering from listening impairment. It helps all these different kind of people considering that you don’t need to use your hands or legs for driving this car. You don’t need to actually see or hear, although it would be better if you have someone accommodate you. And also, people don’t have to apply their brains to know when to stop, when to go, when to slow down. It is a great product for someone who has one of the above disabilities.
Drones and especially mini drones with camera, are the hottest toy or gadget of 2015. They can be used to shoot high altitude videos, amazon is using them to deliver packages or you can use them to spy on someone.
Another very important use of these drones is for people who are bedridden (because of some illness, injury or old age). It can be very hard for people who are bedridden and who can’t even sit up to go and explore the outside world. These drones can sort of help these people to see what is going on outside or at least in the other rooms of their home. This can be a boon for anyone who is bedridden or in house-arrest.
3. VR Headset
Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Sony Playstation VR, Microsoft Holo Lens and many more. 2015 truly was the year of Virtual Reality with so many top companies trying hard to push their VR products to the world. A lot of them say it is the future of Technology. The main use of these headsets is to immerse yourself completely in any space, whether it is through videos or games.
This use can help people who are either bedridden or handicapped. The reason being they can immerse themselves in an environment that is otherwise not possible for them to do so. Like seeing a view from the top of the mountain or attending a dear one’s wedding. It can also be used for people diagnosed with Autism or Asperger’s syndrome. They are generally very sensitive to touch, sound and light which leads them to becoming tensed frequently. The VR headset can virtually transport them to a calm sensory room, a forest or some enchanted land where they automatically feel relaxed and their nerves loosen up.
4. Amazon Echo
Alexa can do anything from playing your favorite song, setting an alarm, reading you the daily news and even making calls from your phone and all this just by calling it’s name. It has multiple uses and makes life easier for people.
It can also make life easier for people who are visually impaired. The above-stated uses can be excellent for someone who suffers from vision loss or long-sightedness and also sometimes for people with memory loss. How you may ask — because Alexa can also remind you stuff! Just let it know when you want to be remembered of what or tell it your grocery list and it will remember it for you.
5. Smart Watches
No tech list is complete without the mention of the Smart Watch. Apple, Samsung, Pebble and the list goes on and on. This gadget took the tech world by storm and it continues to be improving and adding apps to it’s small space. It is great for calling on the go, tracks your steps and since it is constantly on your wrist, it just saves you so much time.
A big usage of a Smart Watch is for people who are verbally impaired. Children and adults with this disability carry around a heavy folder filled with pictures or have a Tablet around their neck all the time to be able to point to pictures and communicate with people. There are apps that let these people choose from a variety of utility pictures such as food, write, sleep., etc. This in a Smart Watch could lessen their burden of carrying around a chunk wherever they go.
There are many other tech gadgets out there that can help people with disabilities. I picked these 5 because they are currently the most popular.
People without disabilities already lead an easy life and these gadgets just make their lives much easier. But people with disabilities really need gadgets and tools that can help them cope up with their day to day life. They are of course many gadgets that can help but I think normal gadgets can be easily modified or tweaked to fit their benefits as well.
I hope this article inspires you to design and think of something for people who need all the resources they can to make their lives easier.