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Technology has become a key part of our lives. However, the use of innovations can be challenging due to various disabilities such as deafness, limited motion or visual impairments. As a result millions of people around the world have fewer possibilities to participate in a society. Fortunately, innovative ventures exist to empower people with disabilities to participate independently in society.

An important solution to mention comes from one of our Global Meetup ’21 finalists: 6Degrees. They created an AI-powered wearable that enables injured or disabled people to reclaim control over their digital life using motion. Check their pitch video¬†here.

Problem Statement: Different disabilities require different solutions. It is estimated that around 36 million people in the world are blind and a further 216 million live with moderate to severe visual impairments. For these people using a smartphone, which is basically an extension of our lives, is a big challenge.

Scope for Innovation: Available solutions which help blind people to send messages such as voice-to-text or the virtual qwerty keyboard can be improved. Such solutions are slow, sensitive to mistakes, and not entirely private.

Solution of the Week: To make technologies such as smartphones more accessible for people with visual impairments, Ayushman Talwar and Freek van Welsenis founded in 2019 the Dutch startup Hable. Their first product, Hable One, is a wireless smartphone keyboard that empowers blind and visually impaired people to type and navigate through their phone. The keyboard is built for efficiency, precision and mobility. Six keys on the keyboard enables them to type all numbers, letters and punctuation in braille. The other two keys in combination with voice-over and talk-back software allows for full control of the phone.

Follow their mission to make technology accessible for people with visual impairment here: https://www.iamhable.com/