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Talking gloves, tactile windows: new tech helps the disabled

by:Tuowei     2019-09-09
Hadeel Ayoub slipped a black glove onto her hand before starting a sign language that made no sense to an untrained observer.
Then she pressed a button on her wrist and a small horn passed the message from the air: \"Let\'s Dance!
\"My dream is to give a voice to those who can\'t speak,\" 36-year-
The old inventor, while working on her PhD, is developing her bright glovesD.
Assistant Technical major at Goldsmith College, University of London.
Ayoub\'s gloves are just an example of a bigger trend, as entrepreneurs, startups and companies like Microsoft and Google try to take advantage of the power of artificial intelligence to make life easier for people with disabilities.
The World Health Organization estimates that by 2050, the number of people requiring aids such as wheelchairs and communication technologies will double to 2 billion.
Improvements in artificial intelligence, coupled with lower hardware costs, allow inventors to develop new products without the need for government or corporate financial resources.
With enhanced processing power from 3D printers and home computers, they are designing devices for people with motor, visual, hearing and cognitive disabilities.
Microsoft and Google are working hard to drive the work in this area by providing a total of $45 million in grants to assistive technology developers.
Microsoft said it wanted to identify promising projects that could eventually be incorporated into a wide range of available services.
Zvika Krieger, head of technical policy and partnerships at the World Economic Forum, said: \"We are certainly seeing the explosion of new technologies that are seeking to support people with disabilities . \".
\"There are a lot of innovators out there . . . . . . They want to go beyond dating apps or social networking apps and want to do something that really helps the vulnerable.
While Ayoub wants her efforts to pay off financially, she says her goal is to create a world where disability becomes meaningless.
She is trying to raise £ 1 million to bring BrightSign to the market, with an estimated price of \"several hundred dollars\" per glove, compared to $2,000 or more for existing technology.
\"My dream for BrightSign is to be an extension of people\'s senses . . . . . . They want to express their feelings and opinions without having to always find someone to help them --
\"Give them the independence they need and control their own communication,\" she said . \".
With the aging of the world population, the demand for this product will only increase, and the number of people with physical, cognitive, visual and hearing problems will increase, according to a report published by the World Health Organization this year.
The challenge is to develop new technologies while increasing the availability of simple devices such as glasses and wheelchairs that many cannot afford.
Hector Minto said the company is beginning to recognize the financial potential of the market because these innovations can improve products that are sold more widely. He has the unusual title of \"barrier-free communicator\" at Microsoft.
For example, Microsoft launched the free Seeing AI app last year, which turned the smartphone into a \"talking camera\" to help visually impaired people do things like scanning and reading text aloud, recognize the face, identify the product bar code.
The company\'s text translation service also uses similar technology, which costs $10 to $45,000 a month depending on the number of transactions.
\"Of course, I think there is a unique business case, but there is definitely a bigger business case for Microsoft, because future tools tend to look at it from a disability perspective, \"he said.
It is important to keep in mind that all of us sometimes have impairments, said Robin kristosen, head of digital inclusion at the UK charity capacity network, which helps older people and disabled people use computers.
He explained this: a person with perfect vision may have visual impairment when reading a smartphone in bright sunshine, or a person with perfect hearing can hardly understand the phone on the street outside.
Therefore, the technology that helps people with vision or hearing problems also makes the product better for everyone.
Over the past five years, AbilityNet\'s team of experts has tested products to ensure that they do a good job for the disabled, from 6 to 22.
Tom Camber, executive director at Brooklyn, said innovation has not yet produced enough good products to provide complete freedom for the impaired
Technical services based on the elderly
Profits to help older people use technology.
But he says investors have reason to be optimistic because they are actively looking for the next big thing in technology.
\"There are many people in Silicon Valley who will answer your phone,\" Kamber said . \".
\"The industry has grown to the point where it will make a lot of money.
\"The holy grail is that technology is being integrated off-site. the-
Shelf products so that people with disabilities can get the help they need without adding extra fees, Shelf net\'s Hudson said.
The blind Christopher Sen cited the iPhone as an example, which allowed him to change his backpack full of devices and cables to a device.
Technology then has the opportunity to help the flawed people experience the world in a completely different way. Ford Motor Co.
In collaboration with the Italian startup Aedo project, a device was created to help blind people \"feel the landscape\" outside the window by turning light into vibration, when combined with audio descriptions, convey the feeling of passing scenery.
While the technology is only in the prototype phase, a blind person working on the project described his surprise when he first tried out the device.
Antonio Bruni said: \"My first feeling when my fingers walk from the mountain to the sky is that I end up with cream, some milk, some soft stuff.
\"They told me: these are the clouds.
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