In the past decade there have been many new advances in assistive technology. A staggering one billion people are benefiting from an assistive technology! Assistive technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that improves the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities. China, United States, Germany, Japan and South Korea are the five main origins of innovation in assistive technology as patent data filings show.
Some well-known examples of such technology include workSmart gloves, driverless cars, and robotic arms. One particular revolutionary assistive technology that should be highlighted is eSight! It consists of electronic glasses that were recently released and allow the visually impared to “see”. Visually impaired students traditionally use a combination of braille, audio books, and talking calculators as assistive devices in the classroom but eSight is hoping to add their revolutionary glasses to that list of solutions. eSight claims that the electronic glasses let the legally blind actually see, without the need for any surgery. In particular the glasses contain a high-speed, high-definition camera that captures everything the user is looking at, and then algorithms enhance the video feed and display it on two OLED screens in front of the user’s eyes, in a format that is palatable for the eye.
This could obviously revolutionize the classroom experience for visually impaired students. Thanks to advances in assistive tech, these students can now view the board from any seat, easily read from books, tablets, and computers, move independently between classes, and participate in on and off campus events, which is truly remarkable!
Soon we will hopefully see more integrated technology and hopefully a more inclusive and better world be realised.