A new innovation is in the works which allows those with conditions that affect movement, posture and co-ordination to effectively operate mobile phones and computer technology.
Called the Mobility Bridge, the device has two methods of operation: one uses a combination magnet to activate a contactless switch, and another uses a more sophisticated proximity sensor.
Through various body movements a signal can be sent to operate the mobile phone via Bluetooth, the action from the individual can then be interpreted by way of an application on the phone being used. Viewing the phone can also take place on an optional larger screen.
The system can thereby be attached to a wheel chair allowing the user to see and operate the phone. This patent-pending technology appears to be very adaptable, which is essential for it to be able to operate with a variety of devices and, more importantly, people with very different and often complex impairments, such as cerebral palsy.
This could be a marked improvement on current devices which often suffer from reliability issues and can be costly.
Mobility Bridge is a spin-off from the Wheeltop project funded by BT, and is a collaborative effort between industry, academia and Beaumont College, Scope’s Further Education College in Lancaster and has been part funded by the Government’s Technology Strategy Board.