Technology continues to evolve in leaps and bounds. The most technology the average person is concerned about includes entertainment applications. Three dimensional televisions, home theaters, gaming systems, laptops, tablets, smart phones, and even smart watches are all the rage these days. Applications for the disabled are geared toward education, improving social interactions, practical uses, and even muscle recovery, along with all the entertainment applications.
Augmented and Virtual reality (AR/VR) are commonly used applications of Technology For The Disabled. Virtual reality simulates a real-life environment via headsets. Some simulations include the senses of touch, sight, and hearing. This allows those living with disabilities to enjoy new experiences, views, and sounds they may not have access to without a headset. A person in a wheelchair, for example, can see the views atop Mount Everest and hear the wind while skiing.
Augmented reality (AR) can be used in many more applications than virtual reality. This type of reality is actually a combination of real life and a simulated environment. The computer enhances experiences by adding layers of graphics, video, and audio to real life situations. Applications that utilizes AR include route planning and helping newly disabled people learn how to maneuver a wheelchair through traffic. These skills can be practiced and mastered to instill confidence and increase safety.
Those with cognitive or behavioral disabilities can use AR to learn and practice social skills in a safe and comfortable environment. This prepares people for social interactions before they face new people or crowds. The quality of life is improved as skills increase and interactions become less overwhelming. Coping strategies are introduced in a non-threatening manner so progress is made quickly.
Motor Skills and Muscle Recovery
The use of augmented reality via a headset improves mobility, fine motor skills, and coordination. Applications are extend to people who have suffered a stroke, accident, of major injury. The headset helps them focus on specific muscle groups, can drastically decrease real environment distractions, and increases concentration. There are over 56 million people living with disabilities in the United States so these applications are an excellent use of advanced technology.