Assistive Technology: Disabled Individuals Interact With The World Through Intuitive Natural Actions
Increasingly accurate sensor-based technologies are being adopted by developers to create innovative systems for handicapped persons.
Anton Plotkin and Lee Sela at the Weizmann Institute of Science have developed a system that allows paralyzed individuals to control computer software using puffs of air from their nose. The technology makes use of small, pressure-sensitive machines that link the inside of a user's nose with a standard computer interface via USB. The system has proven to be robust enough to capture a wide range of inputs from the user's breath alone. As Discover Magazine reports:
Sniffing may be a simple act but it’s not one to be sniffed at – people have very tight control over the length, intensity, pattern and, obviously, direction of their sniffs. The sniff controller can measure all of these traits, independently of the user’s regular breathing. If the user can breathe on their own, they only need to wear a couple of nasal tubes. If they need the help of a machine to breathe, they have to wear a larger nasal mask.