Innovation That Matters

Smart keyboard and app

App and smart keyboard helps disabled people get online


A touch sensitive keyboard and app are making it easier for people with mobility impairments to use the internet.

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The founder of ParrotOne knows first hand the difficulties of typing with a mobility impairment. His experiences have helped shape the company’s goal of making the internet accessible to anyone. ParrotOne uses touch sensitive hardware on the keyboard. Moreover, the app is compatible with mobile keypads and most phones’ predictive text systems. Predictions are an important aspect of the ParrotOne approach. The system uses artificial intelligence to learn a user’s habits and frequently used words. The more the system is used, the more fully formed phrases it can offer the user. In today’s connected world, being unable to type as quickly as would be liked is one of the biggest challenges of having a physical disability.

The app will support a range of messenger systems, including Facebook and Gmail. Furthermore, the smart-touch keyboard will be compatible with all operating systems. This makes it easy for users to move between devices without having the awkwardness of constantly readjusting to a different way of typing. Initial studies have shown that using the system reduces the number of movements needed to send a message by 60 percent. Additionally, the entire space of the screen can be used for typing, and the system assists with punctuation and spelling. All messages sent through ParrotOne will be encrypted for privacy.

Accessibility is an ongoing challenge and will almost certainly continue as technologies change. Nowadays, online inclusion is crucial for almost everything, and some projects are addressing the very specific needs of certain communities. One company has developed a digital wristband that is worn on a prosthesis in order to translate motion into online work. Similarly, another team has created a prosthetic limb that uses AI to respond to the environment, adjusting its grip and movements as needed. What could help develop products and services that are adjustable for use in supporting a range of impairments?



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