The Huey lamp senses the color of whatever it’s sitting on and changes to match that color. What we’d love to see as a related product is a lamp with the same type of sensors, but that responds by changing to a light color that would maximize contrast for elders and people with low vision.
And the iPad jumps into the world of brainwaved-powered operation. Currently used for osculatory goals, but other applications could be developed, either to allow people with little or no dexterity to run apps or to serve as a biofeedback trainer.
An Ubuntu prototype will react to your face and body position in a variety of ways–automatically making text larger as you move away, for example, or expanding a video to full-screen mode if you lean back. Very promising for both vision and dexterity accommodations.
We’re keeping an eye on the relevance to wheelchair users of the Roboscooper, which looks like a commercial variation of the iRobot Create modification for the Roomba. Roboscooper picks up objects and puts them in a “cargo bay” (unclear if this is a set area or can be specified by the user), or knocks them around (and out of the way?). We do like that it has a variety of clear spoken messages in response to a variety of situations, including encountering an object that’s too big or heavy, and that it can run either automatically or via remote control.
Auto-Tune is software that can make bad singers sound competent, or game show hosts sound stoned. Wonder if the technology could also be used to modify the voices of people with dysarthric speech so that speech recognition applications would recognize them better?
Looks like there are several universal design features to applaud in iOS 4, the new iPhone operating system. The one we’re latching on to is systemwide implementation of typing assistance: auto-suggest and spell check.
The Swing Pro Solo Auto concept basically does away with the steering wheel. Instead, you make the car turn simply by leaning in the direction you want to go. This has obvious benefits for upper-limb amputees and anyone who has difficulty with grasping or turning a wheel. We can also see elimination of the wheel as improving driving comfort for people who are obese or pregnant. Finally, for people with cognitive conditions such as left/right dyslexia, leaning is probably going to require less effort and allow faster reaction times than steering.