i3 | June 15, 2022

Accessible Tech

Dacia Turner

The CTA Foundation has made it our mission to power lives through linking seniors and people with disabilities with technology. Our grant recipients use technology to give people freedom, independence, purpose and vital connections. These technologies include areas such as hearables, tablets, robots, virtual reality and voice assistance.

Technologies continue to incorporate the latest trends and adaptations to the world we live in. However, not all technologies are accessible. This in turn, leaves others isolated, having to find alternatives, or without the opportunity to engage at all. Matt Ater, vice president of Vispero and vice chair of the CTA Foundation said, “In the world of all the technology that you see at CES®, like a dishwasher, even self-driving cars, all of this technology could benefit people with disabilities if they’re built with an accessible plan.”

At CES 2022

The CTA Foundation scouted out innovative accessible technologies that are helping bridge the gap of making life accessible for all and are now on the market.

WHILL, a previous CTA Foundation Eureka Park Accessibility Award winner, was back at CES featuring three of its innovative wheelchairs. Their autonomous model automatically transports people in a variety of locations, including patients throughout the hospital and travelers through an airport, with programed mapping. Their compact model F makes travel easy with full power chair capabilities. Lastly, their Model C2 packs more power for adventurous users, featuring their omni wheel for easy maneuverability. WHILL has partnered with Bird, a bikeshare company, making their powered chairs available for rent in the U.S. 

  • Eargo featured its invisible hearing aids, with rechargeable case, various sound profiles, and waterproof capability. Their hearing aid also gives users the ability to make a customizable sound profile using their hearing screener on the mobile app which conducts a proper hearing test.
  • Shokz featured its two new headphones at CES. The sport headphone, OpenRun Pro, with ninth generation bone conduction technology, allows users to hear their surroundings and the content coming through the headphone simultaneously. Also featured were their workplace headphones, Open Com, featuring a boom mic which amplifies your voice when speaking.
  • BenjiLock featured its fingerprint locks at CES. Their first generation, fingerprint lock gives people the ability to unlock a padlock using their fingerprint, with the backup option of a key if needed. Their travel lock has fingerprint capabilities with travel sentry approval making it accessible to TSA. The door lock can store up to ten fingerprints and 25 user codes that enable users to unlock a door without the use of a key. Lastly, their new bike lock can store up to ten fingerprints to unlock a bike.
  • BioIntelliSense featured its health monitoring technology which remotely monitors patients from in the hospital to the home. Their flagship device called the BioSticker provides continuous vital sign measurements for 30 days on a single device for a “stick-it-on and forget it” user experience. They also featured their BioButton, which allows for continuous measurement for remote patient monitoring. The information collected from these medical grade wearable devices unlocks clinical insights when combined with advanced analytics so doctors can take better care of their patients.

Each of these technologies gives older adults and/or people with disabilities access to products that improve their lives.