London, Feb 22 An Israeli company has built the world’s first completely hands-free smartphone for the disabled.
The smartphone, developed by start-up Sesame Enable, is designed for people with spinal cord injuries, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), cerebral palsy or other disabilities that affects the use of hands and arms, The Times of Israel reported.
The Sesame is an Android smartphone that is equipped with proprietary head-tracking technology.
An advanced computer vision algorithm and the phone’s front-facing camera track user’s head movements and allow them to control a cursor on screen.
The cursor is essentially a virtual finger that let 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.
“My life quality jumped from the Stone Age to the smartphone age,” Livne was quoted as saying.
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.
The five Sesame recipients so far include a former Israeli soldier who was injured in 1976 and a little boy in Britain with muscular dystrophy.