Scott’s Accessibility Update

Dr Scott Hollier

It’s a new year and that means it’s time for the highlights of the Consumer electronics Show (CES) in the US. Some of the items that caught my attention from a disability perspective could have great implications as the year goes on.

Firstly, Samsung has announced a new mobile device concept for their screens, called the Flex Hybrid OLED. At last year’s CES event, Samsung showcased their displays being able to fold in all sorts of different ways, and this year they have combined this with an added trick – the left side of the device can fold, while the right side can also slide out to extend itself. This changes both the size and the aspect ratio, transforming this into a widescreen device. This innovation opens up a world of possibilities for people with disability, especially for people who are vision impaired who need bigger screens. 

There were also some innovative laptops including one that featured a powerful gaming laptop which was also surprisingly lightweight which is a difficult combination to achieve and could be very helpful for people with disability needing to carry powerful machines. 

Gaming was also well represented with Sony announcing an accessible game controller to rival Microsoft’s equivalent Xbox Adaptive Controller, and my personal favourite was a shower that not only provides water, but can also provide scents so you can experience aromatherapy as well. For people with disabilities this could offer a future where after a shower, other things like deodorant or after shave cold be applied without needing to do anything which would be great for people with a mobility impairment. 

These are just a few of the new technologies and we’ll hopefully see some of these become a reality later in the year.

Dr Scott Hollier
Director Accessibility