BridgingApps at CES 2022

Thanks to the generosity and ongoing support of the CTA Foundation, BridgingApps was able to attend the amazing Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada last week.  Although this show is highly anticipated as the place to see the newest cutting edge gadgets to enhance our lives, we saw this as a great opportunity to meet developers and designers and remind them to include individuals with disabilities when creating new technologies or making improvement to existing ones. We are so excited to share some of the new technology and innovations we learned about at the show.

One of the first items that caught our attention was the Toniebox by Tonies. This is a great option for parents who need their children to have a screen-free alternative to playtime or downtime every now and then. It is a colorful speaker in the shape of a box that looks as though it has ears at the top (these are where the volume controls are hidden). To play, the box only requires the user to simply place a special toy on top of the box where it is connected by a hidden magnet. These toys actually come in many different characters and have songs and stories stored on them. Parents and caregivers also have the option to buy a character that is blank so that they can record their own songs or stories on them. We see lots of possibilities and uses for this in a variety of age groups. We are so excited that we were given a Toniebox so that we can allow our clients to try it out when visiting our lab. Read more about their starter kits and accessories on the Toniebox website.

The Liddle Speaker is a lightweight magnetic speaker for your mobile devices.  It connects to your device using Bluetooth and was created to stick to your MagSafe cases or to whatever you want by simply using the adhesive magnetic rings. The developers of this fun little gadget were nice enough to donate one to our assistive technology lab and so far we love it! We are thinking this speaker would be a great option for users of all ages who love music or want to hear videos and movies on their tablets or phones in stereo. Read more about their speakers on the Liddle Speaker website.

Helping people improve their mental and physical health and wellness is an important part of our work with our clients of all ages and abilities. We have trialed and researched lots of great apps that people of all ages can use to track their physical activity as well as eating and sleeping habits and even wearables that monitor their heartrate, blood oxygen level, count their steps, and more. We have found however, that often the wearable devices needed to work correctly with these apps are expensive. That is why we were so excited to find the this line of smartwatches by Letsfit, which start at a much lower price point than some others on the market ($39.99 at the time of this writing). To read more about their line of smartwatches and other devices, check out the Letsfit website.

We also found this item finder, the Chipolo One Spot that has its own app but also works with the Apple Find My network. This is a feature that is new in item finders not made by Apple and is an exciting development. We were gifted one at the booth that has a hole in it for slipping onto a keyring or a small carabineer, but they also have a flat, credit card size version that can easily be placed in items that you don’t want to lose. Depending on the user’s preference, the Chipolo can send a notification to your phone when you have left it somewhere. Have a spouse or child that has a habit of forgetting to take their wallet, purse, bag, binder, etc. when they leave the house? This might be a solution that works for your family. You can learn more about these nifty finders on the Chipolo website.

Lastly, we want to congratulate the winner of CTA Foundation Pitch competition, Caregiver Smart Solutions. They have created a new kind of home monitoring kit for caregivers of older adults. Their approach respects the privacy of the person by not using intrusive cameras or speakers that are always listening, but instead sensors around the home. We are excited to see companies continuing to innovate and come up with new solutions to care for adults as they age. Learn more about their company and their solution on the Caregiver Smart Solutions website.

After the pitch competition, the CTA Foundation grantees attending CES met with CTA Foundation Executive Director, Steve Ewell (far left). We appreciate this opportunity to meet with other agencies who share our passion for helping older adults and people with disabilities.

For more information about the yearly Consumer Electronics Show (CES), visit the CES website.

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