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July 28, 2021
3 min read

Exciting New Products Bring Assistive Technology to the Masses

Technology has afforded us so many advantages, and those with disabilities have received many upgrades in quality of life as a result. The visually impaired  have been the recipients of some great improvements in their ability to compute and function more independently.

Amazon Echo Frames
Amazon Echo Frames

Assistive Technology for the Visually Impaired via Augmented Reality (AR) Glasses

Visual impairments are very common, and there also side effects of many injuries and diseases. We have written about screen readers and ‘on screen text’ magnifiers in the past.  There are also special monitors to help those with light sensitivity (or photophobia) use a computer.

Now, for all users, including the visually impaired, there are more sophisticated tools being released that will augment their ability to navigate daily life. For instance, the Amazon Echo Frames Glasses, which are 'smart glasses.' These glasses will communicate with an Amazon Echo Dot and allow the wearer to ask questions about where they are and what they are looking at.  When away from home, the Amazon Echo Frames Glasses will be able to communicate with the Echo Dot via Bluetooth in the wearer's Android or iPhone device.  For more about the Amazon Echo Dot, see our article about smart home devices here.

The recently released Envision Glasses are also great for the visually impaired, as they audibly read back text that is in the wearer's line of sight. There is a great website called Everyday Sight that is a wonderful resource about technologies and products that the sight-impaired can utilize, along with great software designed just for this audience.

Apple AR Glasses

Apple has been developing augmented reality (AR) Glasses that will synchronize with the user's iPhone to bring info like texts and emails in to the wearer's field of vision.  With Apple's strong history of accessibility features, there is little doubt that these will also benefit those who are visually impaired, and the elderly as well.

Brain Power "Empowered Brain" Glasses System for Autism

Brain Power Glasses
Brain Power Glasses

Brain Power has developed a form of  glasses and software that helps students with autism, ADHD, and other social-emotional challenges learn the life skills crucial for happy self-sufficiency.  Their Empowered Brain™ is designed to teach 'social-emotional learning (SEL),' and help wearers achieve new levels of independence.

Windows Eye Control Integration

We have written about the benefits of "eye trackers", which allow you to control your mouse and computer with your eyes.  These are great for those with movement disabilities.  There is a new development in that Windows computers are increasingly compatible with these devices. The feature is in a beta/testing phase in Windows 10 and will be more fully realized in Windows 11. You can visit the Microsoft website to read about this integration.

WOW Computers  For the Elderly

WOW Computers for the Elderly
My WOW Computers for the Elderly

Assistive technology for the elderly is an area that is going to explode with new developments in the coming years. One such product is the My WOW Computer - designed for the elderly.

Not only does the My WOW Computer have a large screen that is easy to see, it also has touch capabilities so that seniors who are suffering with arthritis and might have a difficulty using a mouse or keyboard can easily select options that are on the screen and browse the web, send emails, etc.

Get in Touch with an Expert at Northwest Ergonomics & Assistive Technology

Northwest Ergonomics and Assistive Technology is here to help with your assistive technology needs. Our trained  experts will consult with you to understand your specific needs and provide solutions that really work. We help people of all ages who have experienced an injury or other disability.

It is important to our caring specialists that you really get the benefit of these wonderful advancements in technology. For that reason we specialize in training and follow-up to make sure that everything is working as effectively as possible for you.

To contact us, use the form on our contact page, or call 206-707-8830



Read Full Bio
Doug Lear
15 years as an Assistive Technology Specialist- Providing services to those with disabilities for those with and those why want to operate a computer more efficiently and effectively by voice, vision, or movements.