Too often we think about gadgets like small devices made for us to have fun: mp3 players, cell phones, PDA’s, music players. So we forget about the ones made to help people and really change their life.
This article is about the gadgets that improve people life and aren’t so known as party and funny gadgets. I’m going to talk about the gadgets built for people with disabilities, devices that help this people to have a better life. The majority of these gadgets are made for the blinds so I will start with those.
This high-tech device recognizes the white stripes of a pedestrian crosswalk and reads traffic lights could tell a blind person when it’s safe to cross the street. The electronic eyes are being developed at Kyoto Institute of Technology.
Braille PDA’s and computers
The Braille Display allows blind users to use standard computers or PDA devices. The Braille gadgets use refreshable Braille displays, which raise small dots through holes in a flat surface to create Braille that refreshes as the user inputs commands. So a blind person will be able to play music, read books, take notes, making presentations or reviewing/editing documents.
PC with a screen reader
Screen readers access information displayed on computer monitors and interpret that information via text-to-speech output. This software must be used along with text to speech synthesizers to allow the blinds to use the computer easy.IBM offers Home Page Reader, special software to read and navigate Web pages for those who are blind.
Cell phone with Talks software
Talks software was created by Cingular Wireless. With it a blind person will have full access to the capabilities of the cell phone using only his voice.
Other usual gadgets for blinds are: Braille and talking clocks, Braille color-identification labels for clothing, tactile writing and signature guides, talking calculators and magnifiers.
For deaf persons there are several helpful gadgets which I will tell you about.
These are small devices that can be easily carried and they are used to provide increased sound amplification.
The telecommunication devices for deaf have typewriter keyboards, and the typed conversation appears either in a readout display or on paper.
The adapter is attached to television set. These enable viewers to read captions on their television screen.
Now a deaf person can know when someone knocks at the door, when the baby is crying or the telephone is ringing. All these are possible because of the alerting systems. An alerting system for deaf will send a signal if: the baby is crying, the doorbell rings, telephone rings, the smoke alarm systems is on, the security alarms or the wake up alarm was started. The signal may be visual (a flashing light); auditory (an increase in amplification); or vibrotactile.
For the ones without hands or fingers there are some new gadgets designed to improve their life.
X-Finger is medical gadget replaces lost fingers created by Dan Didrick. X-Finger is a non-robotic prosthetic finger, or set of multiple fingers, with a full range of motion, including being able to curl like normal fingers.
The Bionic Hand
The Bionic Hand was created by David Gow. It is unique because thumb and fingers can move and grip just like a human hand and it is unique because it is uses patients mind and muscles control the movements.
So when you hear the word gadgets don’t think only to a device to have fun with, think about devices that improve people life, especially the ones with disabilities.