coming soon! A new gadget which connects to your smartphone and will change the approach of assistive technology

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Hardware & Accessories

Hello all!

First of all, I hope this note finds you very well, and thanks in advance for taking a moment to read it.

I am a teacher and accessibility consultant from Barcelona Spain; and today, I am excited to share about a new device that an European company (Tech4Freedom) is developing, in which process I am involved.

It is a gadget full of sensors which connects to a smartphone; and by combining the smartphone’s capabilities with those of this gadget, a lot of tasks can be accomplished depending on specific needs.

The project is very ambitious but feasible according to the available technology. It started being addressed only for visually impaired people, but it will be extended for other needs very soon.

The idea of the first commercial devise is to provide accurate data on things like body and environmental temperature, humidity, distance or measure calculation, color and light detection, and even tracking things or people using beacons among others.

This device substitute all the specific devices that we use to get that information with a single device. Regarding the connection with the smartphone, we know that there are some apps that can give information, but they are not very accurate. here, the purpose is to have specific apps which can use those sensors in the way the developer wants (there will be an open set of APIs); this is, developers will be able to create their own accessible apps with what ever purpose.

The first comercial prototype of this device accompanied by a fully functional set of apps will be available at the beginning of next year, but the second version is already in development. And here, there are a lot of hardware and software customisation possibilities. you can virtually configure the device for your own needs from a range of available censors and apps. In that way, it could be used by all kinds of people with different needs. For example, there could be an accessible glucomiter, a drop counter, a TV decoder, even a sign language interpreter. Virtually, developers can work to solve different communication or interaction needs for education, daily life, etc; of course, all with accessible apps.

Sorry for the long explanation, but it is a very new approach and it is not easy to describe. We are carrying out an extensive market study in order to know peoples thoughts in order for the company to develop a really useful device.

There is a survey in english, which it would be great that you could complete and distribute; and of course, all ideas are welcome!

To know more about the project, you can see the webpage at:
www.tech4freedom.net

Also, there are some interesting videos about it in youtuve:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM_Ic0WQhm0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ax4CzOF894

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWTFKngfP2w

And the survey is at:
http://es.surveymonkey.com/r/T7NV5SZ

Thanks a lot for reading this, I think that if well conducted, this new device could be a breakthrough in special needs approach for health, education, entertainment and much more.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this; as a blind person my self, I think it can be really cool!

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Comments

Submitted by ming on Tuesday, November 8, 2016

hi!
I'm glad to read your post.

can you describe how does it work?
and does it has any youtube or podcast that demonstrate it?

Submitted by Daniela rubio on Tuesday, November 8, 2016

In reply to by ming

Thanks for your interest on this.
There will be a demonstrative video very soon available, which I will post as soon as I have access to it. but now, I will describe it with a case of use.

Situation:

A blind or visually impaired person has a gadget, more or less of the sise of an iPhone, but a little thicker with a single button. That button will be used to power it on, launch an order or get results, depending on the way it is pressed.

The device has different sensors located in strategic positions, so it can be used easily.

The device is paired with an iPone which has a dedicated app for the device; and from there, the person can request an action. For example, measure body temperature.

To do it, he or she places the thermometer sensor against the skin of a sensitive place, like the stomach or armpits. Then, he or she presses the only button on the device.

at that moment, the results will be sent to the app, where they can be read and stored.

This is a very short example of use, but as I explained, there are many sensors and an open set of APIS, developers can create apps for many purpose.

The survey is a very important part of the development process, because it will provide indispensable information on our real needs and how we would like this device to work.

Please contact me privately if you have further interest on this, questions or even if you know somebody who would like to be part of this project as a tester or even developers who want to create apps for it.

The webpage is at:
www.tech4freedom.net

And the survey is at:
http://es.surveymonkey.com/r/T7NV5SZ

Submitted by Toonhead on Tuesday, November 8, 2016

There are loads of possibilities here, and I can only imagine the device, for lack of a better term i'm not even sure if it has a name yet? can only get smaller over time. I can also imagine that someday, we could have some kind of wearable device that, when turned on can interface with the iPhone and we could get similar results. Sometimes I feel like we've fallen behind but when I read stuff like this it makes me feel like George Jetson. LOL! It's all futuristic!

The name is "Box". The company wanted something simple and not hard to remember.

It is true that at the beginning it is hard to understand, but the possibilities are endless. It could even in a near future work with gadgets which are not accessible at the moment like medical appliances, cooking aids, etc.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I wonder if we can link the apple watch to this, all of this right from the rist. Just some future stuff here.

Submitted by JeffB on Tuesday, November 8, 2016

This sounds really cool would I be able to sign up to test this I live in the US. If not I look forward to more news on this.

Submitted by Daniela rubio on Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Hello all!
As I commented before on the thread of this post, here I am coming back with some videos on the device I spoke about, and for which there is a survey still opened for it to be conducted in a good way.

There are 3 videos, but the first one I post is really interesting; as we can see al te team who is working there, as well as a little demo of how the first version of the device works.

I hope you enjoy it and that with it in mind, we can give them more opinions through the survey.

The video links are:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM_Ic0WQhm0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ax4CzOF894

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWTFKngfP2w
Have a great holiday time!

Submitted by Daniela rubio on Wednesday, February 15, 2017

In reply to by ming

Hello again folks!

You might remember that I calked about an innovative device called BOX One4All, which is advancing very well in its development.

Actually, I am very glad to announce that Tech4Freedom will have a Booth in CSUN 2017.

If you wish to see how BOX works, what are its possibilities and potential, come and visit us if you go to CSUN in San Diego this year.