Millions of people have conditions that affect their life in many ways. Yet there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to fighting off the stigma that surrounds them and being able to allocate enough resources both in public and private sector to equip them with the same means and rights as able-bodied individuals. There is much to go before the healthcare systems set into place are perfect. Still, thankfully, there are different companies out there that are already creating products that cater to various disabilities and try to improve the quality of life for those with multiple impairments. Here are some of the newest in the market that can make an impact:
Smart glasses for visual impairment
There are various visual aids for the sight-impaired that help them get through the day. Of course, there are a large plethora of different visual issues that each need their own specific treatments. Although glasses have long been a product available to us, there are smart glasses that are now available for those with more acute conditions that cause low vision and limits field of view. Those who have blind spots in the middle of their vision and those without peripheral vision can now use these glasses that transmit a live feed using projection, making up for those areas. It also carries different modes for those who need adjustments to contrast, colours, text, and edges.
Cognitive hearing aids
For the deaf and hard-of-hearing, there are new variations of hearing aids that make use of artificial intelligence to increase the perceptibility of voices and connects to brain waves to enhance the sounds and differentiate them. While the current variation mostly suppresses background noise and still isn’t able to distinguish between voices, it is already seeing enhancements that are leading toward that realm. The team behind it expects to create an updated version that reads the brain waves based on each varied sound heard to provide differentiation and highlights the current voice or sound that the wearer wants to listen to.
Known as the Dot, the new Braille smartwatch is a leap in assistive technology for the blind. Connected to a mobile app via Bluetooth, this smartwatch is meant to provide the same conveniences of other smartwatches on the market but particularly those that need non-sight-based assistance. Once paired with a device, it can tell the time, work as a stopwatch and alarm, alert the user of text messages, let them read the messages in Braille, and warn them of incoming calls with the caller details in Braille. The pad on the watch raises pins accordingly to allow the user to read any information they desire, with different buttons to help with varied functions.
Today, these products are making significant changes for various communities that have long needed better tools to navigate daily life, especially as other technologies continue to advance without any considerations done for the large disabled space that is part of society. It’s interesting to see what improvements can be made to upgrade these existent game-changers further and what else there is to come.