The Internet of Things and Assistive Technologies for People with Disabilities: Applications, Trends, and Issues

The Internet of Things and Assistive Technologies for People with Disabilities: Applications, Trends, and Issues

Hwa Lee (Bradley University, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 34
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1820-4.ch002
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Abstract

With the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the past two decades have seen a proliferation of Assistive Technology (AT) and its enabling impact on the lives of people with disabilities in the areas of accessing information, communication, and daily living activities. Due to recent emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), the fields of rehabilitation, healthcare, and education are challenged to incorporate the IoT applications into current AT services. While IoT applications continue to be developed and integrated into AT, they are still at a primitive stage where clear guidelines are yet to be developed and benefits are yet to be substantiated to ensure the quality of lives of people with disabilities. This chapter provides an overview of the IoT and AT integrated applications based on the building blocks of the IoT, along with recent trends and issues relevant to accessing technology for people with disabilities.
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Basic Building Blocks Of The Iot Architecture

A suitable architecture for the Internet of Things (IoT) requires the implementation of several and distinct technologies in computing, communications, and data mining (Lopes, Pinto, Furtado, & Silva, 2014). As architecture will have a significant bearing on the field itself and needs to be investigated (Gubbi, Buyya, Marusic, & Palaniswami, 2013), basic IoT architecture needs to be established and updated continuously to commission and decommission various IoT assets. Domingo (2012) suggests three layers of IoT architecture: perception, network, and application. This layer architecture represents a hierarchical structure of IoT systems. To complement this hierarchical view of the IoT systems, five technology building blocks of the IoT architecture can be examined: Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), sensors, sensor network, cloud computing, and applications. Recent IoT devices for people with disabilities represent at least three, if not all, of these building blocks. Figure 1 shows the five technology building blocks with various technological components. These building blocks become the basis for AT that support independence, freedom, and dignity of people with disabilities in various environments.

Figure 1.

The five technology building blocks

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