What’s New in Assistive Technology?

The big Consumer Electronic show just wrapped up in Las Vegas, and I saw some posts about some of the upcoming products that may become available.  This led me to search for what is new in the world of Assistive Technology.  What tools are up-and-coming that can positively impact people with disabilities?   Anything new that can help seniors age in place with greater independence and safety?  So, I compiled my list!  This list just reflects what I have found- if you have found other products, please let me know!

Look What's New! text written in bold graphic and in red, yellow and blue colors.

Sony has come out with PlayStation for folks with physical access needs -Project Leonardo.  It is highly configurable, and made with input from end-users. It is in development, no release date yet.  This product could make it possible for some to finally get into the gaming realm! https://blog.playstation.com/2023/01/04/introducing-project-leonardo-for-playstation-5-a-highly-customizable-accessibility-controller-kit/ 

OpenAI has come out with ChatGPT- https://openai.com/blog/chatgpt/.  This is in research mode, so they are looking for feedback.  Essentially, you can type in a question or ask it to write a poem or an essay about something, and it will do so.  This has potential, both good and not-so-good, in the educational realm, but great potential for those who get stuck looking at a blank page.

Xplora has also come out with a child’s Smartwatch, the Xplora X6Play Smartwatch. https://shop.myxplora.com/blogs/news-1/major-win-for-xplora-at-ces .  This smartwatch is a cell phone, with complete parental controls, has a GPS boundary app to allow parents to be notified if the child leaves a safe zone, and limited apps available.  I also see benefits for this with adults with dementia who wander. 

Scewo Bro has an electric wheelchair that can climb up and down stairs, and safely navigate uneven ground. https://www.scewo.com/en/ This wheelchair has been in Europe for a few years now, and they are looking to bring it to the US.  As a family member of someone who uses a power wheelchair, this could really open up the world that much more for him!

Xander is coming out with Xander Glasses soon-  https://www.xander.tech/ .  These glasses provide real-time captioning on the lens for the wearer, so they can read what is being said.  I can see these being amazing for those with hearing loss in so many situations!  I know many cell phones now have real-time captioning available but only for audio coming out of that phone. This would provide it for conversations in real life. 

I am sure there will be more coming out at the ATIA 2023 Convention in a few weeks.  I will be attending that virtually, and will keep you posted on what I find!