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Wireless RERC Announces 2016 App Factory App Development Awards

The Rehabilitation Engineering Center for Wireless Technologies (Wireless RERC) is pleased to announce funding of 5 new assistive technology apps for development and release in 2016 as part of its App Factory development project.  These new apps will provide solutions to a range of challenges that users with physical, sensory and cognitive impairments face. 

The Wireless RERC received 13 proposals for its 2016 App Factory funding competition. All were top quality proposals targeting important user needs. After careful consideration, 5 were selected for funding.

Blue Sky Designs Pow!r Mount app will provide accessible control for powered mounting and positioning systems.  The app works in conjunction with BlueSky Design's forthcoming Pow!r Mount to provide individuals with significant physical disabilities access to and control over devices in their environment through their smart device, like a smartphone, tablet or AAC device.  With the powered mount’s ability to move, rotate and tilt devices and trays, a person will be able to move essential items into accessible positions, and to easily and independently change activities.  Positioning of mounted devices is controlled through an accessible method of choice, such as a switch, voice, wheelchair controls or direct touch, with a finger or conductive mouthstick.   The Pow!r Mount app will be available for iOS and Android devices.

Komodo OpenLab’s Tecla Remote expands on the success of its Tecla Shield switch controller and related technologies, in order to facilitate access and control of appliances and external hardware by people who lack the fine motor manual abilities to interact with the standard console, remote or app-based controls provided with commercial media streaming devices. The Tecla Remote will be available for iOS and Android devices.

Sendero Group’s Easy Listening app is a low cost application that will facilitate direct smartphone/earpiece communication to provide local noise cancelling and speech amplification for people who are blind as well as for everyone who wishes a more easy listening experience.  It will employ sophisticated noise filtering and amplification to differentiate itself from other sound amplifying apps already available in the marketplace.  It will be available on the iOS operating systems.

Shepherd Center’s Healthy Timer app will allow users to use their mobile devices as a tool for providing consistent timers and reminders for key daily activities, such as weight shift prompts, bladder management cues, medication reminders, meal reminders, blood sugar monitoring, performance of home exercise programs, positioning reminders (ex.“keep your head up”) and monitoring and controlling  moods and behaviors (behavior “check in”) to name just a few.  The core timer functionality may also serve as a platform for future integration with bio-sensor technology to automatic alerting.  Healthy Timer will be available on Android Play.

Smart Steps will be using App Factory funds to add functionality to its existing decision-making app for users with autism, developmental disabilities or other cognitive impairments. The existing SmartSteps app prompts users to create decision trees to solve problems such as taking the bus, asking strangers for help, and interacting with others. The new functionality will enhance the ability to save and share decision trees,  the ability for Smart Steps admins to assign decision trees to individuals and groups, the ability to send text messages  directly from the Smart Steps app, and add a read aloud button inside the app, to name a few.  Smart Steps is currently available on Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

The Wireless RERC’s App Factory project has funded over 20 assistive app development projects over the past 5 years through an annual call for proposals. Read more at: http://wirelessrerc.org/content/app-factory-d1.

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For more information, please contact Ben Lippincott at ben@imtc.gatech.edu or 404-894-7034.

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The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number 90RE5007-01-00. The opinions contained in this website are those of the Wireless RERC and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or NIDILRR.