Hands-free Assistive Technology For Technology
August 6, 2014 5:31 PM Subscribe
I'm looking for suggestions of ways to interact with technology that doesn't use hands. For the past year and a half, I've been suffering from hand and wrist pain. I've seen multiple doctors with no resolution yet. So I'm looking for some suggestions on how to use technology and not aggravate the condition.
posted by [insert clever name here] to Technology (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm still in the process of seeing doctors, but I need something to help me in the short-term. Braces aggravate the condition; I've tried several types and none have worked. They all cause an increase in pain and numbness. (Though, if you have any suggestions, I'm open to trying something new.) A confounding factor is that I've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. While my doctors don't think the pain is from fibromyalgia, I think that might be what prevents me from using the braces, or possibly makes this a more painful condition.
I've been using the dictation features of my iPhone and computer (MacBook pro). It helps, but I still end interacting with the devices using my hands more than I'd like. For example I may have to backspace or correct and depending on how bad my wrists are that day, that can be enough to cause significant pain. Using the mouse to manipulate windows can also cause pain, even if typing is minimal or nonexistent.
There are a number of things I would like to be able to do the voice control, and I'm hoping these technologies exist. They are:
- Voice control of basic Mac OS tasks such as opening and closing programs, scrolling in windows, tabbing in documents.
- Basic controls for iPhone such as scroll up or new tab. Ideally voice commands of basic gestures.
- Basic control for android tablet using voice control such as scrolling or opening new tabs and apps. Ideally voice control to replace basic gestures.
- Not voice controlled, but I'm also hoping to find a way of controlling the screen cursor that doesn't require hands.
I don't know if these technologies exist; my problem has kept me from doing any in-depth searches. But I am hopeful that at least some of these exist for people with disabilities or just general hand pain. It's also possible that the dictation software built into Mac OS and iOS already has these features and I just haven't figured out how to use them. If that is the case suggestions on where to find this information would be greatly appreciated. (Or android, but I'm not impressed with the voice control so I am doubtful.)
As one final request, one activity that I enjoy is writing. Obviously my ability to do this is limited now. I've been trying to make use of Apple's voice to text software. It works very well, but the way I speak is different than the way I type. My "voice" is different. I'm not happy with how the writing I dictate comes out. If anyone uses dictation for writing, do you have any tips on how to get better at verbal writing?