Changing the World One Technological...

Changing the World One Technological Advancement at a Time

by Rochelle C. Pangilinan

We all appreciate technology and how it has improved our lives especially in terms of communication and travel. At this point, we can’t imagine ourselves without our tablets or mobile devices or our parents can’t imagine taking family to a road trip without their GPS or rearview. We all can agree that technology has changed our lives for the better.

In addition, there are plenty of technological advancements these days that hope to provide utmost assistance to those who are differently abled and contribute to their overall well-being. Let us take a look at a few of these pivotal breakthroughs:

Kapten PLUS Personal Navigation Device

Remember when your parents did not have GPS in their cars? They used to get lost often or worse yet get parking violations because they’ve wrongly passed on a one-way street. GPS definitely has come a long way. And it is not just for cars anymore! The Kapten PLUS Personal Navigation Device was specifically created to help the visually impaired to get around without having to rely on a guide dog or a cane. The device is built in with a map that can provide directions via audio so you can get to your destination.

Purple P3 Video Relay Service

Most of us are so dependent on our mobile phones that we put the devices beside us even when we sleep. Purple Communications realized that not everyone can enjoy the benefits of a mobile phone and thus they created a product that addresses exactly that.  The Purple P3 Video Relay Service is meant for those with hearing impairments as it utilizes a live sign language interpreter to relay messages in real-time via the screen and also interprets sign language so it can be translated into audio to be fed into phones or tablets.

The LUKE arm

It is challenging to imagine a life without limbs, but it is a reality for a lot of people. Fortunately, DARPA’s Revolutionizing Prosthetics by DEKA Research & Development Corp has developed the LUKE arm, which is a more advanced version of their previous Deka Arm. LUKE stands for Life Under Kinetic Evolution. This prosthetic arm can translate signals from an individual’s muscles into complex motions including reaching overhead or behind the back, carrying a bag of groceries form floor to table top, and holding a glass of water without spilling. It can also allow people to hold an egg without the fear of breaking it.


The Read&Write is not a device, rather a family of software that aims to help those with learning disabilities. It can read emails or documents aloud and also comes with text prediction, picture dictionaries, and summary highlighters.


Who does not like to enjoy a video game or two? Everyone should have the right to enjoy video games and that is the vision behind SpecialEffect. This device includes modified joypads and eye control, making it easier for those with disabilities like spinal muscular atrophy play videogames as much as they like.

These are just five of the latest technological breakthroughs that aim to help people with disabilities and for sure there will be more on the way.




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