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Posts with «assistive technology» label
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With a mouth-operated joystick and “sip and puff” controls, the LipSync aims to make smartphones more accessible for everyone.
For the huge number of people that use them, smartphones have certainly made their lives easier. Unfortunately, these amazing gadgets are difficult to use for those with limited or nonexistent use of their arms and hands. The LipSync attempts to address this issue with a device that can be made in just over a weekend’s worth of work. It uses an Arduino Micro along with a Bluetooth module for communication, and allows someone to interface with the phone using its tiny joystick, as well as the user’s controlled breath.
Smartphones and other similar mobile devices have become a staple piece of technology in this day and age. For people in wheelchairs whom experience difficulties with gross or fine upper body motor control, the usage of mobile devices can be very challenging. The LipSync is an assistive technology device which is being developed to allow quadriplegics the ability to use touchscreen mobile devices by manipulation a mouth-operated joystick with integrated sip and puff controls.
You can find more information on this project, including the files needed to build one, on its Hackaday.io page.
I grew up with my Dad’s songs. Some of my first memories are of him and my Mom singing to me and my siblings. A bad fall last winter left my Dad with a dislocated shoulder and detached nerves. His function in his left arm remains very limited. And he sure can’t play guitar.
I thought,’how about I just build something to allow him to get back to his songs?’ Something of a Luddite at heart, he was a little slow warming up to the idea of an electronic device interfacing between him and an acoustic instrument. Furthermore, he was understandably a bit pessimistic; he said, “Justin, that sounds like a great idea if you’ve got a ten-million dollar research budget behind you, but I just don’t think what you’re talking about is possible”. I said, “let me see what I can do”.
Justin’s device, dubbed the Folkbox, has rows of buttons mounted beneath the neck of the guitar that play chords when depressed. The buttons are hooked up to solenoids that depress the proper strings, allowing the user to play a multitude of different chords.
The interface can be easily rebuilt to allow musicians with other disabilities to play as well. For example, someone who has no use of one hand can have a foot pedal array to play chords.
Justin plans on continuing work with the Folkbox, adding an even larger array of chords it can play, and rebuilding the enclosures in acrylic.