Friday, May 7, 2010

There Is No Such Thing As Goodbye, Just New Beginnings - Part 3

As I stated in an earlier post, I am very optimistic for the future of assistive technology for the disabled community. We have already progressed by leaps and bounds but there is still much that we can do. One of the greatest things about technology is that we are never content with our current devices. It appears that we are constantly searching for the next best thing, which in a way has pushed us to develop so many innovative inventions. Assistive technology is no different. For example, from the time humans could walk we have been using prosthetics. In the beginning we molded these prosthetics from materials like sticks, animals bones or even clay. However, as time has progressed we have developed prosthetics that work and look almost like a real limb. This is only of the hundred of different types of technology that is currently available. One of my favorite posts was a video that talked about how scientists in Europe are currently working on a device that allows individuals with disabled motor skills to actually play video games with their thoughts. In essence, a helmet was designed to read the brain waves of the individual wearing the helmet which would then transfer the electric waves to the device. Unknown to most of us, every time we think of something, we are transmitting electric signals and scientists in Europe have figured out a way to actually capture and read these signals. Before watching the video I thought that devices like this could only exist in movies or science fiction shows. However, this is no longer just an idea but has become a reality. Although there is stll a lot of research that needs to be done before this device is perfected, it is still exciting to know that some day in the near of future, individuals who are significantly disabled will have the ability to play a video games, turn a light switch on and off or even operate a computer or cell phone just with their thoughts along. It is devices like this one that make me feel optimistic that scientists will not stop trying to come up with better and better devices.

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