Assistive technology is widely becoming more and more popular in the electronics industry. With peoples growing use of technology and an ageing UK population, people can greatly benefit from what assistive technology can do for them in aiding their lives and for when they struggle to use technology they have become accustomed too.
What is Assistive Technology?
Assistive technology is the term applied to a device or system that allows the user to perform tasks that they would otherwise be unable to do so. There are many pieces of technology which can enable people with severe disabilities to independently control their environment for example their lights, TV or Computer. Commonly used terms for different methods of assistive technology are physical access methods which can be single switches and keyboards and non-physical access which include methods such as voice recognition and eye gaze.
What are the Benefits of Assistive Technology?
The main benefits for assistive technology make a huge impact for people to maintain their independence. Using the technology they feel much more confident and don’t feel like a burden to those that look after them. Other examples of how assistive technology benefits , specifically people with dementia, can be found here in these two case studies: Click
As you can see from the case studies not only do the users benefit but relatives who are close to them as well. Another advantage is for the user to be able to participate in activities and in social situations enabling them to interact with others and keeping strong friendly connections. This can prove vital for their health and well being.
A Glimpse into the future…
The future is bright for assistive technologies with the ageing of the UK population continuing to grow and people becoming a lot more dependent and literate on computers, more and more users will look to this type of technology to assist themselves or their loved ones in the future. Take a look at the video at the bottom of the page; it was filmed at the World Economic Forum 2014, Yang Guang Zhong talks about the future of assistive technology.
If you would like to discuss and develop a project or idea that you have using assistive technology, why not chat to one of electronic design engineers.