The Georgia Institute of Technologies is working on developing an array of devices, many of them using wireless technologies, to help disabled people: One system uses GPS, a mobile PC, and headphones to help blind people get around. The user programs a destination into the computer then the computer generates sounds that the user perceives to come from a certain direction. The sounds lead the user to the destination.
Another project will make switching on lights or changing channels on the TV easier for people with limited motor control. Users can make certain gestures in front of a panel that beams infrared light at a video camera. When the user breaks the light with a gesture, the movement is translated by a computer which comands a household appliance over a wireless network.
The researchers are able to work on these projects due to a $5 million, five year federal grant form the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, which was awarded two years ago.