The device already makes a world of difference
For many sufferers of aphasia, a disorder caused by stroke that impairs the language centers of the brain, simple things like writing or typing up emails become incredibly difficult. One inventor, though, has created an email interface based on the Kinect system that allows his mom to do the impossible, and send simple emails to her friends and family.
The inventor, Chad Rubles, initially tried out his idea with an Arduino-based physical interface, but decided to give the same system a more digital flavor, creating a “Kinectified” software interface instead.
The UI consists of a virtual dashboard, featuring a number of emoticons, a series of level or intensity buttons, and a green arrow and red x. The user selects one of the current crop of nine emotions, then the level at which they feel that emotion, before generating and sending the email with the arrow. The red button allows the user to refresh the dashboard, and all of this is controlled using simple gestures.
Chad’s mother suffered a stroke twelve years ago, which caused her subsequent aphasia. The feature set of this Kinect system Chad built for her might seem small, but the device already makes a world of difference.
“For most of my friends, I can text, email, or poke as a simple way of checking in on the people I care about. But this isn’t possible for mom. Even if the message is simple, ‘I feel very groovy,’ or ‘I am feeling somewhat tired,’ its so much more than she was able to do before,” writes Chad on his blog.
“She can speed dial family members, but phone calls are often a frustrating game of 20 questions as I try to tease out the main purpose of the call, which is often – as it is for most of us, ‘just to say, ‘Hi.” But when I see that mom has emailed, ‘I’m feeling quite a bit silly.’ it never fails to make me smile.
via Gizmag – Nick Gilbert
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