I watched this story on NBCBayArea and learned about Google hosting a build-a-thon in Mountain View last week. They created LipSync and it’s going to change a lot of lives.
Google employees volunteered their time, and made LipSync. It’s a mouth operated sip-and-puff smart device controller that allows people with disabilities to access the internet. It is designed to mount to all types of wheelchairs. At the build-a-thon, Googlers and employees from Santa Clara Valley Medical Center volunteered to assemble 20 new LipSyncs . The devices enable those with limited or no use of their hands to use a touchscreen device through a mouth operated joystick. At the end of the day the completed LipSyncs were donated to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, where they will help patients increase their independence through access to technology.
The build-a-thon is an extension of a $800k Google.org grant to the Neil Squire Society, an accessibility focused non-profit, to create an open source design manual that allows anyone with access to a 3D printer, soldering iron, circuit board, and a few other common electronics to build and customize assistive technology based upon their needs. Building your own LipSync device should cost around $300.
People with disabilities will have easier, more affordable access to the internet. They’re more likely to find the services and products they need and connect with the community. This story is so awesome and it makes me proud of my community. I’m looking forward to following the news on this and hearing about the users and the people who follow the design manual and make their own LipSync device. Thank you Google!