The purpose of this study is to develop the “development tool kit” which helps scholars especially in social science field to undertake researches on “wearable assistive devices” without technical efforts and/or help developers to produce prototypes of “wearable assistive devices”. It also helps students to learn “wearable assistive devices”. Wearable devices have been making remarkable progress due to the evolution of technology in the last decade. Recently many wearable devices are developed and applied to various purposes in different fields. We can find much possibility of wearable devices as useful and significant assistive devices. For example, a wearable hearing aid. People with hard of hearing and the deaf often face difficulties to recognize things happening in their surroundings. Imagine you can not hear the sound because you are with hard of hearing or using iPod with earphones, you would not able to recognize the car coming behind you. It might cause a fatal collision. If the device, on your hand or arm or even in a pocket, can be applied to multi modal accessibility, which transforms the sound information to the visual information or the vibration, you can easily recognize the sound information such as car coming. However, there are various issues and problems to develop, to use or to assess wearable assistive devices. Some are technical, others are social. In order to consider or solve both technical and social issues and/or problems, prototype, or prototyping method of the device is significant and useful. Yet, it is not easy to develop the prototype without knowledge of hardware, such as controlling devices and sensors, software and programing. This makes, for instance, non-professional developers, programmers or scholars in social science field have to wait until when a certain device meeting their researches would be developed or come on the market, even if they would like to use or assess a certain wearable assistive device for their researches. Authors are developing the “tool kit” for developing a prototype of “wearable assistive device”. Developers and/or scholars are able to use this tool kit for prototyping a wearable assistive device in order to undertake their own researches, development works and assessment. The tool kit consists of 1) modules of sensors and displays, 2) controlling device, 3) SDK - software development kit. Users of the tool kit are able to select the modules and sensors. They would be able to arrange them with using SDK which meet their own purposes. Authors are developing this “wearable assistive device developing tool kit” and made assessments of how it can be helpful for developers and researchers of wearable assistive devices.
- Akira Matsuda, Hiroyuki Nakamura. Wearable Assistive Device Development Toolkit. 31st Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference. International conference (Demo), 2016. Page
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