Our electronic gadgets are extremely sophisticated devices but unfortunately rarely accessible to people with disabilities. Some companies are working in this direction.
If touch screens do make it easier to interact with devices, they make them totally unusable, or almost, for people with visual impairments in particular. There are some solutions out there today, gesture assessment is one of them. And it is also making its way into the wearable market today, notably the Apple Watch . Example with the Mudra Band .
The Mudra Band allows you to control the Apple Watch without touching it
Touch screens are often seen today as a component to facilitate interaction with our electronic gadgets, but there are many diseases of physical and / or cognitive disability, including Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Charcot’s disease, which make the use of a touch screen impossible or almost. At CES 2021, the Mudra Band received an Innovation Award precisely because it makes an electronic device, in this case the Apple Watch, more accessible.
In particular to make Apple Watch more accessible
The concept is similar to the Myo bracelet offered by North – then known as Thalmic – launched before focusing on Focals smart glasses. The Mudra Band bracelet therefore works with an Apple Watch and uses a sensor to detect the electrical signals sent from your brain to your fingers. A deep-learning algorithm will then analyze these impulses and match them with the corresponding finger movements. The system then sends the information to the Apple Watch via Bluetooth LE. You are the one who defines each action behind the various movements. So, for example, your ring finger can activate Siri while the little finger can play a song.
When Wearable Devices, the startup to which we owe this Mudra Band, presented its device to backers on Indiegogo , the company highlighted the fact that we could then use the ‘Apple Watch without touching it. At the same time, the startup explained to Engadget that it was working on a use around accessibility. For example, patients suffering from Charcot’s disease can type their text quickly using a virtual keyboard. In another example, the company is using the device to allow a veteran with a seriously injured wrist to learn to play the piano.
Wearable Devices is working with several universities in the United States, Israel, and Japan to develop new use cases. At the same time, the Mudra Band is available for pre-order for $ 179. The first deliveries are expected for next March.