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Accessibility App Helps Parplegics Control Android Devices

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 20 Jan 2020
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Image: An accessibility app helps the disable control their phone with facial gestures (Photo courtesy of Swiftable)
Image: An accessibility app helps the disable control their phone with facial gestures (Photo courtesy of Swiftable)
A touch-free app aids amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or spinal cord injury patients control their android devices using just head movement and facial gestures.

The Swiftable (Arvada, CO, USA) Jabberwocky touch-free accessibility app is designed to enable users with limited mobility to use their device without physically touching it. Users can perform taps and complex real-time swipe gestures by just moving their head; the android device’s front-facing camera, using Google (Mountain View, CA, USA) augmented reality (AR) technology, tracks head movement and displays a cursor that shows where the user’s nose is pointing to on the screen.

To call up a cursor, the user blinks once. When quickly opening and closing the mouth, a virtual tap is performed at the location of the cursor. To swipe or perform complex real-time gestures, the user opens their mouth and drags the cursor across the screen with head movements, and then closes their mouth. The Jabberwocky accessibility service can thus provide access to email, games, internet, video, and all existing Android apps. The Jabberwocky touch-free accessibility app is available on the Google Play Store by searching for the keyword “Jabberwocky”.

“Our mission is to enable independence by unlocking devices that were previously inaccessible to users with ALS, spinal cord injury, or other motor impairments,” said Aaron Chavez, CEO of Swiftable. “We strive to make it as intuitive, effortless, and, dare I say, fun, as the traditional way of using a device.”

“As my dad’s ALS got worse, he lost the hand control needed to use his computer and mobile devices. When we found out about the Jabberwocky app that is controlled by head movement, for the first time in months he was able to check his emails and read the news,” said app user Matthew Smitherman. “The smile on his face when he was able to do those things again for himself was amazing. I can’t thank the people at Jabberwocky enough for giving him back a bit of control over his life.”

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