Google Glass Helps People Gain Independence as a Futuristic Assistive Technology Device

Sergey Brin shows off the new prototype of Google Glass.
Sergey Brin shows off the new prototype of Google Glass.

Yesterday, Wheel:Life posted an amazing video on our Facebook page, sharing the virtual story of Alex Blaszczuk, a law student whose life changed two years ago when she was paralyzed in a car accident while on the way to a celebratory camping trip.

Alex is paralyzed from the chest down, but that hasn’t stopped her from taking part in the Google Explorer program.  As a program member, she was one of about 8,000 people that Google allowed to purchase the beta-testing device at $1,500 each.

After learning to use Google Glass, Alex was able to finally take that camping trip she originally set out on two years ago, helped in large part by the confidence she gained by using Glass.

Alex shares her camping experience below:

Google Glass is just one more revolutionary application of technology that has assistive implications.  Other technical advances that help people who use wheelchairs, without originally intending to be used that way, are devices like iPads, Kindles and smartphones that have slide navigation screens.

IPAT, the North Dakota Interagency Program for Assistive Technology, shared five uses that Google Glass may be used for in the future in terms of assisting people with disabilities.  Their list includes:

  • Possible uses for the hearing impaired
  • Making powerchairs eye-controlled instead of hand-controlled
  • Assistive technology help for people who have traumatic brain injury [TBI]

See their full article at: http://ndipat.org/blog/5-possible-assistive-technology-uses-for-google-glass/

Middle School Kids Explore Google Glass
A middle school technology class in Grand Rapids, MI recently was able to do a live video hangout with Andrew VandenHeuvel. Andrew is a Google Glass Explorer, which means he’s also one of the first people in the world with Google Glass, the new wearable computing device. The class participated in a STEMbite science activity, and then spent some time talking with Andrew about Google Glass.

See their experience here on Vimeo.

Life Labs Explores Google Glass
Life Labs is a technology and grassroots-focused initiative of United Cerebral Palsy dedicated to identifying, developing, and supporting ideas that will make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities. Through dynamic collaborations with individuals, businesses, and communities, they help bring innovative ideas to life.

google_glassA recent article on their website says, “For the past year, excitement over Google Glass technology has been mounting. With the innovative device, the user can take pictures, surf the web, control an electric wheelchair, get directions and much more—all without using their hands. This technology is especially exciting for people with disabilities, as the powerful device has huge potential to incorporate assistive technology for people who are deaf, people who are blind, and even people with cerebral palsy.”

So what do you think? Will Google Glass become more mainstream in the future? How do you envision it making your life easier or more accessible? Share your thoughts with us here at Wheel:Life!

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