The smartphone created by Sesame Enable is designed for people with spinal cord injuries, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), cerebral palsy and other disabilities that hamper the use of hands and arms.
“The Sesame is an Android smartphone that is equipped with proprietary head-tracking technology, ” Jewish Telegraphic Agency ( JTA)’ reported. The phone comes with an advanced computer vision algorithm and a front-facing camera that track user’s head movements and allow them to control a cursor on screen.
The cursor is essentially a virtual finger, letting users do what others can with a regular smartphone. The $1,000-phone recently won a “Verizon Powerful Answers’ Award” with $1 million in prize money.
Its developer Giora Livne, who himself is disabled, now plans to give away about 30 Sesame smartphones to people with disabilities nominated by their peers.
Livne came up with the idea after seeing a TV demonstration for a game controlled with head movements. With a background in electrical engineering, he recognised the technology’s potential to help him, and others.
He now regularly texts and sends WhatsApp messages to his friends and three children, and the phone has helped ease some of the social isolation experienced by many disabled people, especially the young.