Thanks to Ipswitch, Inc. for including us in their new blog, Wearable Technology: Fashion Over Function?
We talk wearables for people with disabilities. A snippet is below, but here is the link for the full blog.
“I do believe that societal pressures are huge. There is an aspect of wanting to stand out with the coolest gadget, but not be totally obtrusive. I think that if a wearable is effective, even if it’s ‘bulky,’ then that should be all the reason you need to obtain it,” argues Sharon Rosenblatt, director of communications at Accessibility Partners LLC, a Silver Spring, Maryland-based accessibility and information technology consulting firm that promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities in all facets of society.
Solving Problems, Both Large and Non-Existent
In the wearable technology market, most advances have been in the realms of e-health, sport and general fitness.
“I use wearables to track my health, both physical and mental. Like many out there, I have a Fitbit to help me track my mileage on my longer runs as I train for a marathon. However, I also use the heart rate tracker, not just to achieve my cardio goals, but also to track my stress levels,” says Rosenblatt.
Beyond providing many of us with personal health and fitness benefits, Rosenblatt adds that “wearables have been a tremendous boon for those who have disabilities.” She cites Soundhawk (a listening device for those with poor hearing), OMsignal (a biofeedback app for those with mental health challenges) and eSight (a headset wearable for those with poor vision) as specific examples of the beneficial applications of wearable technology.
“I would of course tell all manufacturers to factor in the needs and feedback of users with disabilities when designing wearable tech. They should also include them in the research and development phase,” says Rosenblatt.