Faster, More Affordable, More Efficient: Assistive Technologies Breaking New Ground

Around 15% of the world’s population (one billion people) have some type of disability, which can lead to challenges in terms of learning, mobility, employment, and other key areas of life. Assistive technologies are going a long way towards enabling those living with a disability to carry out daily tasks and thrive at school and in the workforce. These are just a few of the most impressive technologies devised in recent years.

Eye Tracking Technology
Microsoft researchers have developed Eye Control, a technology that allows users to control their mouse and keyboard via eye control. The technology is aimed at people with mobility issues; it enables them to make selections on their screen by looking at a launchpad for a specific amount of time. It has also devised the Eye Drive Library, which imitates the work of a joystick and can once again be activated by eye tracking. In October 2020, the company announced that it had designed an assistive eye-tracking AI system that works on any device. The system is a major development because previous versions lacked interoperability and were not as proficient at tracking head poses, facial occlusion, or as wide a variety of eye conditions.

Assistive Phone Call Tech
There are many disabilities that can pose communication problems. Cerebral palsy is one such condition. Cerebral palsy site researchers work to inform readers about the condition, which may result in difficulty controlling the muscles that enable speaking, chewing and swallowing, such as the muscles in the face and neck. Research like this has paved the way for developers to create aids to make communication easier. Assistive phone call technology can step in to make phone calls easier for people with CP and other conditions that potentially affect speech. New smartphone app, the Next Generation Text Service, allows phone users to use their voice to speak and read what they have said in real-time text. They can connect with another person via a human relay assistant, or speak directly to the person on the other end of the line. 

Easy Live Transcribing
Google’s Live Transcribe app enables users to obtain live transcriptions of conversations – a magnificent way to add subtitles to everyday experiences and encounters. The app was devised alongside Gallaudet University – a school for the deaf and hard of hearing. It enables people with auditory difficulties to jump into conversations without ease and efficiency.

There are around one billion people with disabilities in the world. They can face many challenges in the personal, social and work-related spheres, though the good news is that assistive technologies are constantly breaking new ground. Eye tracking technology, assistive calls, and live transcribing are just three technologies making life easier and more efficient when it comes to communication

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