AbleNet's Impulse™ Bluetooth(R) Technology Access For Computers For People With Significant Physical Limitations
"This product leapfrogs anything in the market in terms of flexibility, usability, safety and price," said AbleNet CEO Jen Thalhuber. "Computer access unencumbered by wires and visual limitations is now possible for persons with the most severe physical limitations, as long as they have even faint muscle control somewhere on their body."
Impulse is a patented, full-service computer access device, not simply a "switch." It uses an electrode to measure electromyography (EMG)--or minute muscle contraction--allowing very small movements to control computer devices. Impulse accesses the computer using software installed and configured during the set-up process. The device gives the user the ability to control such tasks as typing and mouse movement by using any muscle the person chooses. Impulse is expected to be available in October 2008.
Bluetooth wireless connectivity allows caregivers to attend to other needs without being hampered by wires or disturbing switch alignment. Bluetooth also allows the user to remain connected to the computer even while being transported short distances, such as going to another room.
"Impulse offers consistent, wireless computer access capability for users who may be using complementary tools including eye-tracking technology," continued Thalhuber. "We expect the price point will be very appealing, especially when coupled with the flexibility and usability improvements. Impulse also has the stylish technology design of a Bluetooth headset, giving the user the same look and comfort other consumers demand and receive."
AbleNet offers high-end wireless EMG devices such as Impulse, as well as advanced multi-input switches, "sip-and-puff" switches and the simplest single-input switches.
AbleNet is an international company and industry leader in providing educational and technical solutions to help children and adults with disabilities lead productive and fulfilled lives. This includes a complete line of communication aids for nonverbal individuals; access aids, such as switches and wheelchair mounting devices for people who require physical supports; and special education classroom curriculum and software that both enhance and help ensure learning progress. The products are represented in more than 50 countries and used in hundreds of thousands of classrooms in the United States and across the globe. AbleNet is an ESOP company located in Roseville, Minnesota.
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