Devices to help Disabled Children to Operate Tablets: Access4Kids Prototype

Access4Kids Prototype.

A new device has been released for enabling the disabled people to operate tablets. This device is named as Access4Kids. It provides wireless input by translating the physical movements of the person in to fine gestures for controlling a tablet device. This device has been created by Hae Won who is a graduate student and Ayanna Howard who is a electrical and computer engineering professor at Georgia Tech.

Researchers working at Georgia Tech are trying hard for making tablet computer reachable to even disabled children. Those who have limited mobility and those who find difficult to carry out common pinch or swipe gestures can make use of these devices to control tablets. This device works only when coupled with suitable apps and software which are offered in open source platform. This software will be developed at Georgia Tech. This software and app will allow the children to enjoy access to the apps like YouTube and Facebook, and also have access to app like therapy, science education, etc which are custom made. The present prototype of Access4Kids is having three force sensitive resistors which can measure pressure and can convert them in to signals. These signals will in turn instruct the tablets. Howard is trying to create another prototype having wireless sensors which can be placed at any place where the child can hit it.

Access4Kids will be very much useful for kids suffering from different kinds of neurological disorders like spina bifida, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, etc i.e. those who suffer from impairment of fine motors. In such conditions, they would feel difficulty in controlling even small coordinated movements of fingers, wrists and hands. They would lack ability to touch a particular area with suitable intensity and timings. So they can’t make swipe gestures or presses.

Howard’s second prototype is expected to still more flexible for children with disability. Wireless sensors in the second prototype can enable the disabled kids to register gestures by the movement of leg or side of their head.

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