In this chapter, you will be introduced to the perils of predicting the direction future technological development will take by Arthur C Clarke. We will then look briefly at why AT will undoubtedly increase in importance within future society. The final part of this chapter will look at the Gartner Hype Cycle of Emerging Technologies 2013. We will examine the Hype Cycle Model and how it relates to AT and we will look at the positions on the Hype Cycle of some of the technologies that will be examined in later chapters
Society and technology have always had an interesting relationship. Society is often influenced by technological developments and this aspect of the relationship is very much part of public consciousness. In this chapter however, we will look at how society often influences and shapes emerging technologies and sometimes even transforms them into something their inventors hadn’t foreseen.
In this chapter we will look at three trends in computing: - Cloud Computing, Internet of Things (IoT), Context Awareness (Devices and Applications). These three trends while not directly related to each other are linked, and together have the potential of creating accessible environments and services for people with disabilities.
It could be up to a decade before Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) can be considered a reliable form of AT. Despite this however, BCI's promise for people with severe physical disabilities is truly amazing. In this chapter, we will look at the categories of BCI as well as Gesture Control and the possibility of using the human body as an input device.
Wearable Technology is the name given to a wide range of Smart clothing and gadgets that are worn by the user. With this technology, devices similar to Smartphones can be worn like an accessory rather than carried or kept in a pocket. Because the fabrics are worn close to the skin, the sensors can be used to monitor heart rate and other biometrics. For this reason, there is growing demand for this technology in the fields of sports and medicine. Wearable technology has gone a step further than this however, with the rise of Affective Computing, whereby the sensors in wearable technology are used to monitor stress levels and communicate your mood.
When the term Artificial Intelligence (AI) is mentioned most of us immediately think of science fiction. The fact is that many applications of AI exist today in the real world; they’re just no longer referred to as AI. Many common assistive technologies are only possible because of AI.