DIY tools TalkBox and SenseBox help people with
Foad Hamidi, assistant professor of information systems, and his collaborators at York University in Canada and the Pamoja Community Based Organization in Kenya have created research-based assistive technology platforms for people with different abilities and in different cultural contexts to learn how to use simple computers to communicate. Importantly, the development of platform prototypes has been grounded in close collaboration among researchers and community members in Kenya and the U.S. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has published the results in IEEE Pervasive Computing.
In the field of assistive technology, costs often prohibit many people with disabilities and their families from accessing useful communication technologies. Existing tools that facilitate communication are especially hard to individualize and can be costly, explains Hamidi. However, computers have steadily become less expensive to distribute and easier to use. This makes computer-based assistive technologies more accessible to people with disabilities, both inside and outside of the U.S.
SenseBox relies on a similar model of stimuli being translated into audio, but it operates using tactile objects, which are recognized by sensors. These tactile objects are embedded with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, similar to how objects are tagged in stores. The objects can be 3-D printed, which permits extensive customization.标签：