Our smartphones can both bind us and liberate us in a myriad of ways. They put us in touch with others, help us automate things, and guide us when we’re on our way. All this requires the basic ability to tap a finger on the phone’s screen. Yet, the very people that would most benefit from that capabilities of smartphones are the ones least able to use them. Specifically, paraplegics that can’t move their arms can’t make phone calls, turn lights on and off, and direct a wheelchair through a single interface. To make this possible, project called Sesame is aiming to empower standard smartphones to be used by people who only have movement left above the neck.
The Sesame uses the phone’s built-in camera to track the person’s face motion, essentially coupling the person’s nose to the cursor on the screen. The software is adjustable to match the motor abilities of the person using it. The project is not far from commercial reality, as 10 beta users are already testing the technology, initially being designed for the Nexus 5, but is expected to eventually work on a variety of phones. The folks behind the Sesame are looking to raise some funds on Indiegogo to help them push it towards completion and allow them to begin shipping the ready-to-go Nexus 5 phones with the software pre-installed.
Indiegogo campaign: Sesame Touch-Free Smartphone…
(hat tip: Engadget)