Access4Kids Enables Disabled Kids to Have Fun with Touchscreen Devices
It’s a sad irony to know that the advancement we have made in mobile technology, including the abundant numbers of touchscreen devices, can’t be enjoyed by everyone. Children who are born with motor impairments are among the few who just can’t experience the beneficial aspect of such devices. Thankfully, Ayanna Howard, a professor from Georgia Tech, with her latest work called Access4Kids aims to resolve this issue.
Featuring three force-sensitive sensors, Access4Kids is capable of translating irregular pressure from a disoriented physical movement of the disabled kids to several touch based commands. These are like scrolling, tapping, pinch-to-zoom, etc. Sure, they’re no big deal for you but for kids living with motor impairments, they’re quite a struggle. The video below shows Howard explaining her invention.
Howard admits that the current prototype is not perfect yet and needs lots of improvements. It especially concerns with the fact that it has to be tethered to the kids’ arm or their wheelchair arm. She’s now developing the second prototype which she wishes can be made to provide more flexibility. While the first prototype requires disabled kids to hit it with their fist, the second one would support force input made by their head or foot.
The first prototype has been outed for trials and so far the feedback from motoric impaired children and caregivers is very supportive. Though, she didn’t tell when exactly the second prototype will be made ready for test, she hints someday in the 2013. Once it’s done, all it needs to get on to the ToysRUs outlet is convincing manufacturers.