Future at Our Fingertips: New Technologies for Disabilities

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We learn about new tech every day—but we don’t hear about what’s out there for those with disabilities that often. Explore new technologies for disabilities. 

New Technologies for Disabilities


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2016 report, one in four American adults have a disability that affects the way they perform key life activities. While varying kinds of disabilities can be found in those of all ages, it becomes more common to see adults who are 65 and older live with a chronic disability. With impairments ranging from mobility issues to blindness and deafness, new technologies for disabilities can greatly enhance a person’s independence and quality of life. 

Among emerging technologies for those with disabilities are ones that can be paired with outside services. An example of this are the Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses. On their own, these glasses use the help of a Bluetooth receiver with a versatile eyepiece with a camera to do everything from taking pictures to track events entered into your cellphone. But connected to an app called Aira, these glasses can link a blind individual to a real-life person to narrate your surroundings as they see them through the camera’s lens. 

These technologies don’t stop at mitigating blindness. Those suffering from hearing loss and even total deafness are benefitting from recent advancements in speech recognition technology. Created by Netherlands-based entrepreneurs, SpeakSee is a series of clip-on microphones that isolate an individual’s speech and transcribes it into a text-like format onto a person’s phone. Lip-reading is now a thing of the past with this device as it allows an individual with poor hearing to follow on with a conversation in real-time. 

Mobility is the most common disability that people face. It’s because of this that researchers are working hard to develop the latest and greatest tech to get people with disabilities out and about again. The WHILL Model Ci is a wheelchair unbound by the terrain. With its powerful and sturdy wheels along with its precise controls, this tech can take you anywhere you want to go. 

2019 is already proving to be an exciting year for tech enthusiasts. From products that change the way we accomplish everyday tasks to those that completely alter the ways we view the world around us, breathtaking developments are made every day. But while these technologies are simply convenient for the average individual, they can be a necessity to someone living with a disability. With these new tools to help, individuals all over the world can live their desired lives. 



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The WHILL Autonomous Drive System was unveiled at CES 2019. The mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) vision, is the next big thing in last-mile transportation, making pedestrian travel accessible for people with a wide range of mobility.

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