Access4Kids Helps Disabled Kids Rock Out On Their Tablets

Here’s a bit of heart-warming tech on a fine Tuesday morning. It’s called Access4Kids and it’s a device that lets you control a tablet with gross motor movements. Rather than tapping on a screen, you can touch various parts of a control pad that sits on your wrist, allowing you to select on-screen items and swipe away items in order to scroll down pages of text.

Built by Ayanna Howard, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Georgia Tech, and graduate student Hae Won Park, the device works with Android tablets and offer an alternative keyboard for kids who may have problems handling regular tablet interaction. The current model has three “force-sensitive resistors that measure pressure.” Kids with problems like cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and muscular dystrophy can swipe along the pad to select on-screen items, something that is impossible for children with fine motor skill issues.

There are no plans to manufacture this yet but Howard is optimistic. From the release:

“We can’t keep it in the lab,” Howard said. “It doesn’t make sense for me to have one child, one at a time look at it and say ‘Hey that’s really cool’ and not have it out there in the world. The real goal is to make it safe and efficient so someone can make it into a commercial product.”

via Georgia Tech