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Assistive Technology and Sensory Augmentation

One of the strategies of assistive technology is to use one sense when another one is not available or diminished. For example if an individual has a hearing loss and would like to know when someone rings the doorbell, a system with a blinking light can be used so the person can see the doorbell instead of hear it. An emerging strategy along these lines is the idea of sensory augmentation to allow an individual the ability to format the output of other sensors into information the human nervous system can understand.

Below is a video provided by students and the Royal College of Arts in London talking about Eidos and sensory augmentation equipment they developed for recognizing visual patterns and focused hearing. Of particular interest to assistive technology is the hearing component to allow those with a hearing loss the ability to filter out distracting noise with the option to isolate the sound source they want to hear.

What types of sensory augmentation have you come across and how to you see the impact for those with a disability?

Eidos – Sensory augmentation equipment (full version) from TJB on Vimeo.

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