One of the panels we attended at PAXEast this year concerned what it was like for people with disabilities to try to enjoy gaming, or even use computers in the way the rest of us take for granted. It was definitely an eye-opening experience and made my wonder why some peripheral manufacturers who make oodles of money on ridiculous items can’t put some money into research and development to serve the special needs community.
Boston Innovation wrote up a story on Boston College professor James Gips and his work on creating devices that make computing more accessible to people with severe disabilities. Gips has created two tools, Eagle Eyes , and Camera Mouse , which enable paralyzed people to use either eye or head movements to move a computer mouse.
I really wish that some of the brain power that goes into developing yet another social media app could be directed towards helping the disabled be less isolated, both from a social and technological standpoint. It’s the innovation of people like Gips that really makes the promise of technology live up to the potential to change peoples’ lives.