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The Accessibility Tech Shown at CES Will Change Lives


Anthony Maestri, Coordinator, CTA Foundation, Consumer Technology Association
CES 2018 was another incredible year with more than 3,900 exhibitors showcasing their tech spanning more than 2.75 million net square feet of exhibit space. Accessible technologies helping people of all abilities could be found all around CES. From hearables to self-driving cars CES 2018 was the launch pad for innovations that change the world.
 

Mobility

Companies were exhibiting technologies that increase mobility for individuals of all ages and abilities across the show floor. The Concept i-Ride from Toyota uses AI technology and wheel chair friendly design so seniors and individuals with mobility disabilities can stay mobile. The #AccessibleOlli is a 3D printed and fully autonomous vehicle that combines numerous assistive technologies from sign language translation to haptic feedback for visually impaired passengers.

Of the nearly two million people with disabilities who are homebound, over one quarter of them can’t leave their homes due to lack of transportation. Self-driving vehicles are a piece in the equation to helping this vulnerable population live more socially connected lives.

Hearing Technology

From traditional hearing aids to hearables, innovative solutions addressing hearing disabilities were front and center at CES. Notable exhibitors included CES 2018 Innovation Awards honoree Oticon showing off their Wearing Opn™ hearing aids. They debuted their HearingFitness™ app that tracks hearing aid use and gives health insights that can combat the negative health effects including social isolation and dementia associated with hearing loss.

Nuheara unveiled their IQbuds Boost™ hearables powered by EarID™ an accompanying app which personalizes and calibrates your hearing profile via AI.

With around 20 percent of Americans reporting some degree of hearing loss these technologies will continue to play an important role in helping those afflicted live more independently.

Smart Home

Smart Home technologies have become a staple of CES.  This year numerous companies showed how this tech can be used to help those of all ages and abilities. Eureka Park Accessibility Contest winner SofiHub exhibited an at home assistant powered by AI and IoT that can set reminders, create reports for caregivers and send out alerts in cases of emergency. Ring is a smart doorbell that can let the user know who is at the door before they open it. With the number of older Americans set to double by 2060 smart home technologies will continue to grow in popularity as a means to help seniors age in place safely. 

Want more on accessibility tech? Visit the CTA Foundation to learn more.
 

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