The technology Pokemon GO is miraculous for individuals with disabilitiesby Ilaria Lonigro - 2016.11.04
The refined technology of augmented reality, used by Nintendo (with Pokèmon GO) to have poketmonster appear in the streets around the world does wonders for people with disabilities.
From Germany to Texas, there are now tons of inventions that use this virtual ploy to overcome physical deficiencies, with almost miraculous effects.
An example? The glasses invented by the Japanese University of Tsukuba that allow those without hands to play the piano. Tracing eye movements, in fact, just by glancing at keys, a melody can be played.
Augmented reality also allows blind people to walk quickly. In Lucca, Italy, blind individuals can quicken their pace while using Smart Cane. It is an “intelligent can” connected to a mobile phone, that records surrounding objects and their distances. The project was financed by the Italian foundation, Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lucca.
But that’s not all. Augmented reality breaks the invisible bubble that surrounds many autistic kids, who are isolated from the external world. Since 2008 the University of Texas has had these kids socialize with avatar and then, has had them face real people. The results? Incredible: at the end of the therapy, 71% of the kids were able to initiate a conversation, and 86% were able to comprehend the point of view of others better and were able to communicate more overall.
It should be of no surprise, then, if the analysts have valued MindMaze at 1 billion dollars. The Swiss start-up founded by neurologist and entrepreneur, TejTadi uses augmented reality to treat patients with: spinal cord injuries, autism, Parkinson’s Disease, and post traumatic stress disorder, like that experienced by individuals after an earthquake. Thanks to special glasses that display a virtual reality in which an avatar moves according to the commands of the patients, MindMaze is able to fool the patients’ minds into coordinating movements that normally were not possible.
Dr. Tadi’s intuition brought MindMaze, born only 5 years ago, to unexpected success, with offices not only in Zurich and Lausanne, but also to a clinic in San Francisco, where a collaboration has been established with the Department of Veterans Affairs for treatment of soldiers who have had limbs amputated or who are under shock.
If at the moment these appliances are not yet within reach for everyone, it is because of their elevated cost: consider that the special “glasses” of MindMaze are rented by clinics and hospitals for the “modest” sum of 2500 dollars a month. What is inexplicable, however, is that this invention, born of the same augmented reality technology of Pokémon Go, has to date, received less than half of the global media attention than Pikachu&Co.