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IIT-M enhances wearable devices with the latest technologies for hearing impaired

These wearable sensors will include the latest sensor technologies used in the Internet of Things, a release from IIT-M said today.

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Chennai: Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M)researchers are enhancing already-developed wearable devices with the latest technologies that will assist people with hearing impairment and motor disabilities to communicate independently and enhance their quality of life.

These wearable sensors will include the latest sensor technologies used in the Internet of Things, a release from IIT-M said today.

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Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) is supporting these projects IIT-Madras through its CSR initiatives.

The devices are being developed by the Centre for RehabilitationEngineering and Assistive Technology (CREATE), multi-disciplinary translational research and educational initiative of IIT-Madras.

It was conceived as the researchers began interacting with NGOs and inclusive schools.CREATE sets out to meet the major social need for indigenous development of low-cost technologies that address the needs of people with different abilities in India.

Prof.Anil Prabhakar, Head, CREATE and Faculty, Department of Electrical Engineering, said due to the non-availability of affordable and sustainable assistive devices and systems, the hearing-impaired are excluded from the mainstream and inclusive education.

Since the imported devices could not be afforded by most people, the cost of the product was kept low and to be less than Rs 5000for its basic functionality.

“The advance of technology and the advent and availability of low-cost micro-controllers and sensors allows us to come up with this unique low-cost device”, he said.

The two major projects being developed by CREATE are ‘Vibe’ andiGest’ for the hearing impaired and for persons with motor disabilities, respectively.

Both devices are embedded systems that will bring the latest developments from IoT and ML to wearable assistive devices, which will have rechargeable batteries and communicate with a mobile phone over BlueTooth.

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