AT&T reveals wirelessly connected wheelchair concept at CTIA 2015
At the recently concluded CTIA Super Mobility 2015, in Las Vegas, wireless network carrier AT&T in collaboration with Permobil unveiled a connected wheelchair proof of concept that wirelessly connects over AT&T’s Internet of Things (IoT) to increase user’s independence and freedom. AT&T has chosen Permobil as its collaborating partner because Permobil is one company that has been developing rehabilitation wheelchairs for people with disabilities for over 45 years.
The connected wheelchair uses IoT and wireless GPS location to allow healthcare providers, family and friends to monitor location of the wheelchair at all times. Additionally, the chair can be monitored for performance, comfort and maintenance.
The wheelchair concept is being developed and tested for IoT possibilities at AT&T Foundry.
The chair is connected wirelessly to allow users access data that has impact on everyday life. The data is collected and saved securely in cloud, and can be shared with caregivers, family or others to help improve the wheelchair user’s life.
The wheelchair is embedded with sensors to inform about seating position and pressure applied on the seat cushion. Permobil’s Virtual Seating Coach app informs about the seating position to know if a user is sitting comfortably – this helps avoid discomfort and positional problems in the chair.
The connected wheelchair concept embeds another exciting feature. The chair monitors battery level and predicts maintenance requirements. The manufacturer can know when a wheelchair needs to be serviced, so that users can benefit with single visit service.
AT&T and Permobil believe they will enhance the abilities of the connected wheelchair concept to be able to access home controls so that user independence is enhanced.