AirTurn’s Bluetooth foot-switch for iPad turns pages with the tap of a foot. It’s designed for keeping both hands free to play an instrument while reading digital sheet music. However, it may turn out to be an important technology for e-book readers with disabilities.
Gadget Lab wrote about AirTurn’s BT-105 prototype in July, but I discovered its accessibility potential in this thread at e-reading site TeleRead. A reader wrote the following email to TeleRead editor Paul Biba:
My friend’s grandson is bright, loves to read, but doesn’t speak and lacks the fine motor skill to turn pages on his iPad book reader. Is there any software or device that could turn the pages for him?
Could you also ask if they know of an input device, do they know how a non-technical person would hook the input device to the iPad or computer?
I did my own research and was discouraged not to be able to find any purpose-built software or hardware to do the job. Late last night, reader “possentespirto” mentioned the AirTurn, which is still scheduled to be available sometime in Q4 of this year. Bluetooth pairing doesn’t require a great deal of technical wizardry, and the AirTurn foot pedal is already compatible with third-party software. This could be a terrific solution.
Users lacking either full control of their arms and hands or the limbs themselves could use the foot pedal to turn pages and zoom in on text; users with other disabilities could convert the foot clicker into a hand-clicker. In fact, the device reminds me of nothing so much as the clicker Stephen Hawking used to select text before he eventually lost control of his hands as well.
AirTurn’s foot-clicker may be too heavy or require too much force to be usable for some disabled users. Here’s where there’s a natural opportunity for an accessibility-minded company to build on this technology, make something explicitly for these readers and do it right.
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Fuente: Gadget Lab