Synopsis: Hands free devices improve quality of life for users of power chairs mobility scooters and controlling computers using the tongue.
In today's society all individuals, including the less able, must have capacity to interface with technical, informational, and entertainment devices used in everyday information exchange. Without this ability individuals will find themselves below the curve as they'll be anchored to such fading tools of information exchange as newspapers and other print publications i.e. magazines, newsletters, etc., not to mention the inability to enjoy such popular pastime activities as video gaming and or recreational computing.
For many less able, high tech devices such as computers, televisions, radios or traditional hand held remote devices in no way are practical tools of choice. The ability to interface and communicate using updated equipment and devices is for many the only ticket to finding jobs, keeping in touch with loved ones, conducting day to day activities, researching treatments or even shopping for critical assisted living devices. Simple actions such as email crafting, changing channels or researching information on search engines become impossible without the aid of a caregiver or some other assisted aid.
Tongue Magnet Paves Way For Wheel Chair Users to Manipulate Household Electronics and DME... All with Flick of YOUR Tongue
As there are many levels of disability their are several forms of Joystick type devices covering our needs. The most severe cases of ambulatory disability require extreme measures and radical concepts. The newest of these developments is nothing short of a miracle.
Researchers have created a magnetic tongue device suited for those who only have manipulation of neck, head and tongue. This device empowers tongue teeth and mouth with the ability to act as a keypad of sorts which may be remote wired into virtually any electronic device capable of handling it's interface. In other words, if it's currently under remote wireless power you may operate it with simple flicker of tongue!
The system is young and needs years of research to trim down cost and refine functionality, although it does exist and is currently being tested by optimistic volunteers. In its current state It's not the most practical looking device and may not be best option for all, although any device that has this much promise is worthy of attention and anticipation.
Be on the look out in the near future for this Tongue Drive System as it's bound to hit the scene with a bang and deliver a higher quality of life for those in need of it's attributes.
Puff-Blow System.. More Realistic as Input and Wheelchair Control Device For Sever Cases of Cerebral Palsy and Other Debilitating Diseases
As stated earlier their must be multiple input and wheelchair control devices to match the various levels of ambulatory ability of the less able. As necessity is truly the mother of invention we have joystick devices that are either mounted on ones person or simply attached to ones power wheelchair.
All these devices have their positive attributes and short falls. The mouth controlled sip and blow concept requires constant movement of facial muscles and can become tiresome for the inexperienced user.
Chair mounted control sticks are the most common and practical although they have limitations as users must implement steady and constant hand-wrist movements that again can be slow if one is not accustomed to its movements, abilities, and limitations.
Voice control systems are becoming popular although vocal devices don't work for all.
These short comings leave room for improvement in the field of adaptive input devices. The key is to create products that cover the downfalls of all while providing user friendly interface between you, your chair and the PC or any household device that's used in common daily activity. In addition all this must be achieved then presented to the disabled community at an affordable price.
Other options include modular keyboards or lap tops that can be placed on wheelchair and controlled at close range by user. These laptop computers are outstanding and practical for those capable of manipulating their larger buttons and adaptive accessories.
Unfortunately there are millions of less able computer savvy wheelers that simply can't use these input devices for they have limited use of their upper appendages. For the majority of these PC users mouth sticks or puff-blow joysticks are at present the most realistic option.
Jouse Concept Approaches Threshold of Computer & Power Wheelchair Simultaneous Control - Closing in on Complete Command
The Jouse is a fabulous design that incorporates joystick type dependence with easy user friendly functionality in a desk mounted joystick attachment.
Manipulation of this device requires individual placing puff-blow mouth piece between teeth and expelling diverse levels of breathing to activate desired actions such as clicking desired button i.e. keypads, left and right mouse buttons and or any input device needing depression of keys to activate function.
Jouse also incorporates head movement to direct cursor movement and may also be altered to incorporate sip-puff action to derive desired actions. This is perfect for those with varying degrees of upper mobility.
Jouse remains a computer input device only. However with its success and further wireless research it's conceivable that the future holds potential for similar devices to be incorporated into a wheelchair attachable remote device that can also toggle between chair manipulation and existing Jouse function.
The Jouse is another "OUTSTANDING" product and serves the disabled community well in it's present state. Each year brings new advancements in joystick design and it is inevitable that soon you may see a hybrid of this outstanding product that brings us closer to bridging the gap between complete control of your PC and durable medical equipment.
We're on the Brink of Combining Various Joystick Type Controls with Integrated PC and Power Wheelchair Operation
To date there is few mainstream device that can reliably control you chair and computer without aid of additional equipment although as you read in this articles introduction their are existing products that are literally closing the gap they simply need to be refined before introduction to the public. Be on the look out for the tie that binds these two needs together. Until grants are issued, trials are conclusive, manufacturing processes are refined and product safety is determined their are products available to effectively cover both chair maneuverability and PC input.
We'll keep you posted on progress in this field as it's imperative that advancement in this industry push forward to afford all people equal access to the information explosion driven by the world wide web. If you're following this article then you have without question discovered using these modern tools is an invaluable aid and accessibility is possible...keep spirits high and faith by your side for grander days of interface are just a footstep away!
Reference: Daryl Clayton Kennedy is editor of disabled mobility scooter .com and a regular contributor to websites and blogs that deal with mobility scooters, disability, and health related topics.