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:
Also, there are some interesting videos about it in youtuve:
And the survey is at:
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!