Hot Off the Press: New Accessible Technology
By John Williams, edited by Ellen Kampel
Recent advances in AT products present new opportunities for people with MS to help them maintain their independence and to stay connected with their families and communities.
Brain Actuated Technologies - Brainfingers hardware and software allow users to control their computer hands-free. Users wear a headband that detects electrical signals from their facial muscles, eye movements and brainwaves. The software decodes these signals into virtual fingers, or Brainfingers, that trigger mouse and keyboard events to control third-party software.
Subvenio - An intuitive technology interface that gives disabled or physically impaired people fast and full control of their automated systems, such as televisions. Users create floorplans and then insert their own controls for answering/dialing the phone, opening the front door, adjusting TV controls, playing/stopping CDs/DVDs, etc. The system’s controls are activated with a click of the mouse or head movement; voice recognition controls will be available soon.
Intel® Reader - A mobile handheld device designed for people who have low vision, blindness, learning difficulties such as dyslexia, or anyone who struggles with reading standard print. Its unique design combines a high-resolution camera with the power of an Intel® Atom™ processor to convert printed text to digital text, and then reads it aloud.
Desktop Desk - A lightweight and portable work, writing or eating surface that attaches to most tables. It's an adjustable activity center that provides people with MS the ability to access and actively participate more equally in some of life’s everyday activities.
Mobile Accessibility - A central information source that explains AT features in mobile devices to help with limited hearing, vision, speech and dexterity, among others. Members of the MS community can visit this Web site to find mobile device that fits their needs.
AT tools are designed to help improve the daily lives of members of the MS community. It is our goal to raise awareness of these technologies so that more people can benefit.
John M. Williams, who coined the phrase "assistive technology," has been writing about assistive technology for 28 years. Ellen Kampel is the public affairs manager for the Accessibility Business Unit at Microsoft.