iPhone Wheelchair App Puts Users in Control

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There are iPhone-controlled cars and beds — now one company plans to integrate iPhones/iPods in its wheelchairs for a new kind of accessibility.

Dynamic Controls developed a system to connect an iPhone or iPod Touch to the wheelchair system via Bluetooth; it mounts on an adjustable arm and has a recharger, too.

In addition to music and all the other stuff you can do with an iPod/iPhone that might come in handy — compass reading, maps — it has an app that can be used for some controls on the chair, showing chair information in real time, including speed, and a diagnostics feature for when things go awry.

“We recognized the iPhone has revolutionized the way people communicate and saw the opportunity to develop this solution for wheelchair users, taking full advantage of Apple’s ‘Works with iPod / Made for iPhone’ developer program,” Charlotte Walshe, CEO of Dynamic Controls, said in a press release.

Lee Kwok, a wheel chair user in Christchurch, New Zealand was also quoted in the presser, saying says he thinks it will be fantastic to be able to buy an off-the-shelf product that has so many features for powered wheelchair users: “Having access to mainstream technology via a wheelchair is a huge advantage.”
The new feature is expected to launch in April, 2010.