Synopsis: Sesame Enable unveils app that turns Android into touch-free smartphone enabling millions with disabilities to use smartphones independently for the first time.
Sesame Enable recently announced at Google I/O the launch of its technology as a downloadable app, enabling millions of people with disabilities to utilize Google's next release of Android as a completely touch-free smartphone. Sesame Enable, based in Israel, is demonstrating its solution at Google I/O as part of the Google.org initiatives.
Android N, Google's newest OS for Android devices, will be equipped with new AP's for accessibility services that enable users with motor impairments to interact with the screen.
The new APIs will facilitate features such as face-tracking, eye-tracking and point scanning to meet the needs of quadriplegics, people with spinal cord injuries, severe arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, and any other impairment that limits a user's ability to touch the phone.
Nexus 5 phone with Sesame Enabled App installed - Photo credit: Basti Hansen
Until now, Sesame Enable was available exclusively as a hardware solution, in which Google's Nexus 5 was preconfigured by the Sesame team as the world's first completely touch-free smartphone. This groundbreaking technological solution for the disabled population has won acclaim from around the world, including Verizon's Powerful Answers Award, Michael Bloomberg's Genesis Generation Challenge and the Nominet Trust 100. Sesame was also a finalist for the 2016 SXSW Interactive Innovation Award.
The Sesame Enable app will allow people with disabilities to utilize ALL smartphone functions and apps, making all aspects of the smartphone fully accessible to them. Face-tracking, point scanning and eye-tracking are features that will allow millions of people with motor disabilities to use a smartphone independently for the first time in their lives.
Google has been a major player in the campaign to improve technological accessibility for people with disabilities.
"Google's innovative new features make the Sesame phone exponentially more affordable and accessible to the millions of people around the world who are otherwise unable to use smartphones," said Sesame Enable Founder and CEO Oded Ben Dov. "Until now, users had to purchase a device that we pre-installed with our custom ROM. With the Android's new API, our technology can be streamlined, and access to it is as simple as downloading an app." Google recently announced a beta for voice control to command some primary Android functions.
This year, Google's philanthropic arm donated $1 million in order for Sesame Enable to provide its technology for free to every single Israeli who needs it. The project, administered by Israel's Beit Issie Shapiro, is ongoing, and is empowering people with disabilities who were until recently disconnected from their loved ones and required the near-constant assistance of aids in order to communicate.
Sesame Enable developed the first completely touch-free smartphone, created for people with disabilities by people with disabilities. Powered by voice control and cutting-edge head-tracking technology, the Sesame Phone opens a new world of communication and independence to a population that needs it most: quadriplegics, people with ALS, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injuries, Multiple Sclerosis, severe arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and others who have limited to no use of their hands. Sesame's co-founders are Giora Livne, a quadriplegic veteran and former engineer, and Oded Ben Dov, a talented young app developer who left the gaming world to create the Sesame phone.
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