"This page is a digitally archived AccessInfo Announcement"
Posted November 19th, 2010 by Pam Gregory
Geek Alert! Popular Science is out with its annual "100 Best Innovations of the Year." Reliability cool any year, this year's list is also notable for a number of innovations that stand to make technology more accessible and lives easier for the disabled.
A few of my personal favorites:
Alan Gregerman, author of Surrounded by Geniuses once said, "Like Benjamin Franklin, we have to stand in a storm to be truly inspired (or electrified)". He could have been talking about just such a list. Onward and upward!
- Prosthetic hands, by ProDigits, developed by roboticists that moved the electronics from the palm and put them into the fingers-such a leap forward that people can eventually type with their new hand.
- Siri, a personal assistant app that uses natural-language speech recognition to carry out complex demands- "Make a reservation for four at Chef Geoffs at 7pm Saturday night," for example.
- Google Goggles, an app that enables Web searches based on images captured by your smartphone.
- The GE VSCAN, a mobile ultrasound machine about the size of a cell pl\one. Particularly interesting given that an estimated 500 million people will use mobile health apps by 2015.
- The iPad (of course).
- The ecoATM cell phone recycler, which lets you turn in your used handset and get paid for its value.
- A wireless phone charging station -just place your phone on a pad!
- Wikitude, an augmented reality browser that uses geo-location data to identify places, sites and buildings.
- A telescope eye implant that can restore a "severe vision impairment" to a "moderate vision impairment."
- User-friendly crutches . Developed by Jeff Webber (who was on the team that designed Herman Millers Aeron chair), these fundamentally changing the shape of the crutch from a ''T" to an "A" frame.
- A Google search engine for television, which gathers metadata with keywords. It was developed on an open platform allowing developers to make more accessible television guides or even translate closed captioning.
- A crime-busting hardware attachment for the i Phone, which uses biometrics such as iris recognition, fingerprints, etc. Now police can take a photo of a suspect and use facial recognition software to match to those awful "WANTED" posters.
- A wireless system for !PTV called WiDi, for wireless display.
- A new diagnostic technology that allows Kenmore washer and dryers to. send data to a technician over a phone line, and depending on the problem, the technician can talk you through the fix, or just send a repair person.
- And finally, a new web language, HTML 5 that allows browsers to display video on a computer, phone, iPad, without having to install software such as Flash.