Evolutionary technology is making the world more accessible.
I’ve included some samples of evolutionary enabling technology but the complete list would extend for many pages and grow longer each day. The “evolutionary” delineation is mine and I’m sure others would have a different list. My only goal is to give you a sense of the technology which is available.
eSight eyewear is an innovative, wearable, electronic assistive technology designed specifically for people with low vision. It’s a high-tech eyewear device that enhances whatever the user is looking at to maximize the effectiveness of your remaining eyesight.
OrCam is a unique wearable device which consists of a tiny, yet powerful 8mp smart camera that is clipped onto glasses, and it is connected to a very small computer (the size of sunglasses case), that assists the visually impaired in reading text (such as newspapers or books), recognizing packaged goods, and even recognizing faces, by translating the text and images into audio, and whispering the information in their ear. OrCam’s sister company is Mobileye, provides the automotive market with sensor technology for collision avoidance and automobile safety. Mobileye went public less than a year ago.
JAWS is one of the first screen readers and Version 16 was recently released. Quoting directly from the Freedom Scientific website, “JAWS, Job Access With Speech, is the world’s most popular screen reader, developed for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content or navigating with a mouse. JAWS provides speech and Braille output for the most popular computer applications on your PC.”
Dragon, by Nuance, is speech recognition software which lets you dictate documents, search the web, email and more on your computer — quickly and accurately — just by using your voice.
Discover 508, by Discover Technologies, makes SharePoint accessible to people who are blind, visually-impaired, or cognitively-impaired. If you’re not familiar with SharePoint, it is a mainstream online collaboration tool which is used by many companies. Even tech-savvy individuals who are visually-impaired struggle with SharePoint; Discover 508 readily solves their challenges.
Stridelight is a low vision aid, combining “bright clear lighting and walking support”.
Haptics are increasingly being embedded in all sorts of technology for people who are blind or visually-impaired. Quoting straight from Wikipedia, “Haptics is the science of applying touch (tactile) sensation and control to interaction with computer applications.” One familiar example is when your phone is set on vibrate. Here are some other haptic solutions which will demonstrate the potential range: