Connected Wheelchairs at CTIA Super Mobility 2015

By Nicole Garbarino

Recently, the JBA team went to CTIA Super Mobility 2015 in Las Vegas. One of the sponsored presentations was by AT&T and Permobil and focused on assisting those in wheelchairs tremendously, along with their caretakers and families. Taking care of someone who is disabled can be extremely challenging and time consuming for those with this responsibility. The individual may need help changing, bathing, and using the restroom, however, now they will be given some measure of freedom back. The device that is creating this freedom is an IoT connected wheelchair that includes wireless location, an accelerometer, sensors on the seat cushion, and it tells you the battery level.
All of these things are to help the handicapped individual, their family, and their caretakers. With the wireless location capabilities those who are responsible for helping the person can see where they are at all times. If for some reason the disabled person needs help any of the people who have their location can get there immediately. The accelerometer will tell those same people if for some reason the wheelchair is on its side. This will help family and caretakers feel at ease when the individual using the wheelchair wants to go off somewhere by themselves. The person can also track their battery levels the entire time so that they do not run out unexpectedly.
This product that was created with the help of the AT&T Foundry and will allow those who are in a wheelchair to be much more independent than before. They will be able to feel free while their family and caretakers will not have to worry about not knowing where they are, if they have fallen over, or if they do not have a charged wheelchair. The use of the IoT is here to help disabled people and those close to them live an easier life.