Everybody loves a niche market, so here’s a good one- people with disabilities. I’ve noticed more and more companies coming up with technology enable solutions to the challenges of those living with a disability. Here are some examples:
There are a lot of health issues that cause dexterity problems- Parkinsons, cerebral palsy, arthritis. Luckily, technology can help. Researchers at Georgia Tech have developed a combination of software and hardware into they are calling Access4Kids. It translates movements that are easy for those with physical impairments (e.g. pressing large buttons) into movements that are becoming standard on tablets (e.g. pinching and swiping). You can see it in action in this video.
People who use sign language to communicate face a daily challenge- most people around them don’t know sign language. Enable Talk is a set of gloves that use sensors and Bluetooth to record what the signer is saying. It then sends this to a mobile app that speaks what was signed.
Blindsquare is an iPhone app that taps into FourSquare data to tell people with impaired vision what’s around them. This could be the most popular coffee shop nearby or nearest post office.
And what if you’re blind and you need to deal with money? How do you keep from getting ripped off? You can use one of several money identifying apps, including IDEAL Currency Identifier or Looktel Money Reader, to scan money and tell you what bill you are holding. LookTel has another app, Recognizer, that can help identify pantry items and CDs.
SIDE TIP: I found most of these from the SpringWise email. Check it out for an international slice of new ideas.