Technology is bringing about major changes in the whole world. How does technology allow people to create in ways not even imaginable for previous generations? How does technology put tools in the hands of people to enable them to accomplish things they previously couldn’t?
Modern Technology and Innovation
The latest advances in technologies such as mobility, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), account for increased accessibility. Also, they grant people, especially those with disabilities, unmatched opportunities to live a better life.
Increasingly, the number of people living better, more included lives is growing all around the globe. This is all thanks to a combination of technological innovation, superior design, and a greater understanding of what people really need. Since technologies are maturing, this trend isn’t going to stop.
Today, even the poorest countries don’t lack mobile phones and internet access. For some people, new technology can be really life-changing. Let’s take voice recognition technology, as a good example coming on leaps and bounds. Services like Siri, Google Now, or Cortana People have opened up new doors for people with visual impairments, which is at least great.
Do you sometimes feel like throwing your computers out of the window or going on vacation just to get secluded from everyday buzzing, beeping, and the increasingly connected world? Even if this is your case, you can’t deny that technology gives you a wealth of opportunities that can really make your life easier and more comfortable indeed.
Technology Making Things Easier and More Accessible
In the US, the market for assistive technology is anticipated to reach $58.3 billion in 2020 from $40.6 billion in 2014, as BCC Research reports. Let’s see how technology is making our lives easier and things more accessible:
The potential benefits stemming from the concepts of the Internet of Things or IoT is more than vivid. Greater and greater amount of data is becoming available today. One of the modern research teams has been studying how sensor-collected data could be refigured and repurposed to meet individual needs.
An example of this would be home control and automation, allowing the disabled to control temperature or lighting through a smartphone app.
Telecommunications can be used to improve medicine, which has become invaluable to doctors and patients living in rural and less privileged areas. No matter where doctors are, they can communicate with their most highly skilled colleagues at major hospitals to get consultations on patients. This will be immensely helpful for the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses without requiring the patients to fly to this or that country to meet with their doctor.
Undoubtedly, tablet devices are making people’s life incredibly easier. Tablets can serve as books or magazines, gaming devices or netbooks that you can use to surf the net, check your email, etc. So, your tablet is like an all-in-one device for consumers helping them with getting news, monitoring their home's energy use, and with many other cases.
Data can be strikingly helpful when it comes to the field of vision. It helps people navigate the world more easily. Some apps are developed to help people find their way to and through subway systems or cycle in the right direction without the need to hold a map.
The latest innovations are turning the urban infrastructure into intelligent, interconnected grids, thus reducing the consumption of resources. Thanks to the modern technologies, smart water management, smart cars, etc. are allowing people to make more happen with less.
Thanks to the advanced technology, it’s never been easier to turn a product into a service than today. As a result, hardware stores have become tool libraries, car dealerships have transformed into car-share programs, and more.
The majority of these things are made a reality with the help of the Internet and social networking sites that connect people to each other and the stuff you can share. Even buying is no more a necessity in a world where can borrow what you need. Technology means such as smartphone apps help people save money easily. You now just swap instead of shopping, which is a positive thing in many regards.
Assistive technology is moving forward with mind-boggling advancements in speech recognition, smart gadgets developed to synchronize to a smart home and smartphone, as well as haptic on-screen displays that’re designed to provide physical feedback for rehabilitation.
The modern assistive tech can well align with the overall trend in interaction design avoiding screens and being focused on more natural, contextual interactions. Tools as interaction designers are transforming from pixels to sensors, and designers who work on creating some new for the disabled are way ahead of this trend.
E.g., Google plays with how it can allow Google Glass-like wearables to convey details about objects surrounding a blind user, and researchers are working on navigating how to teach artificial intelligence to prioritize objects that’re are most important.
As you may have heard, invention comes from necessity. Dr. Chieko Asakawa, an IBM Fellow and a blind researcher, is leading a striking project called “A Smartphone Guide for the Blind.”
The aim of the project is to combine AI, computer vision, image recognition, location technology, mobile technology, as well as voice navigation to help people who’re visually impaired people find places on their own.
Visually impaired people know better than anyone else that navigating and getting where they need to go with location technology offering only 4-5 meters of precision isn’t sufficient enough. Thankfully, there’re companies offering new solutions today that provide high precision with 1-2 meters of accuracy.
Technology intends to make things much easier than you could imagine. Over the past several decades, technological advancements have made it possible for everyone to leverage modern computing power to create in ways that no one could think would be real one day.
The truth is that innovations are already allowing people to achieve goals that just years ago, couldn’t be doable without the vast resources of a big organization or teams of trained professionals.