techUK at CES 2023 - Day Four: Designing Tech That's Accessible To All
On day four at CES we look at a key cross-cutting theme that has been prevalent across all sectors at this year’s trade show, which is the question of how to ensure that emerging technologies are accessible to all and inclusive.
A wide range of companies have been focusing their efforts to ensure that products are built with accessibility in mind, accounting for challenges that some users may encounter in physically using tech devices, and/or ensuring that new technology products are accessible to people with non-physical disabilities or simply those that have more limited digital literacy. Doing so is a priority for companies not only from an ethical and commercial perspective but also in meeting legislative requirements as key markets such as the European Union roll out minimum accessibility requirements that products are expected to meet.
In addition to greater accessibility features being built into mass-market consumer electronics products, on the show floor at CES we’re also seeing a wide range of specialised technologies that are built to support people with specific needs in accessing technology and living with greater independence.
Major advances are being made in assistive technologies for blind and visually impaired people. We have seen a number of tech-supported navigation systems that are able to support visually impaired by scanning unfamiliar environments and providing information about nearby objects, or providing directions via spoken word or other types of communication such as an in-shoe vibration device. We’ve also seen a smart glove that helps visually impaired people learn braille faster and can convert braille to speech. Samsung have won particular praise for their efforts to make televisions accessible to those who have limited vision without additional hardware - ‘Relumino’ is their new visual assistance technology that uses AI to dynamically outline the edges of on-screen elements and rebalance colours, helping viewers to see images more clearly.
For the hearing-impaired and deaf community, several companies have showcased AR wearables with built-in speech-to-text capabilities which can support communication in contexts where lip-reading isn’t feasible, such as in dark or crowded spaces. There have also been considerable advancements in developing affordable over-the-counter hearing aids for those with reduced hearing, and the integration of better noise reduction and focusing capabilities.
A relatively new technology category of consumer technology that we’ve been hearing on the trade show floor is “AgeTech”, which may be said to be a sub-category of health tech. This label applies to devices and service applications that can improve the quality of lives and well-being of older people and support them in remaining at home and living good quality lives for longer. People with mobility challenges can be supported not only through smart wheelchairs and navigation systems, but also through tech-enabled redesigns of everyday products such as toothbrushes that can dispense toothpaste and therefore be used with only one hand, or products capable of receiving instruction via non-touch signals such as hand gestures or blinks.
We’re also seeing a lot of technology focused on preventative care, for example virtual reality minigames designed specifically to support elderly people in maintaining both physical and cognitive abilities. For those that do suffer from early onset dementia, technology can support them in living independently for longer - one company showcased a simplified smartphone device that makes it much easier to remain connected to family members and caregivers.
Spotlight on UK-based companies at CES 2023:
The sheer breadth of UK tech design and innovation on display at CES 2023 means that some companies inevitably don’t fall into a neat product category. On our final day on the trade show floor we highlight a number of additional UK-based companies offering a range of unique tech solutions:
Charg-R Ltd is developing the world’s first single use electronic device charger which is both recyclable, and safe to dispose of via general waste.
Circuit Mind is on a mission to inspire the next generation of hardware inventions, applying the power of artificial intelligence to to automate the design of electronics circuit boards and electrical systems. Their solutions enable partner companies to get products to market faster and on budget.
Hypervsn develops innovative and disruptive 3D holographic systems that provide an immersive experience for viewers - an ideal high-impact instrument for events, exhibitions, retail and to support branded content.
ID5 provides the advertising ecosystem with a transparent, scalable and privacy-compliant digital identity infrastructure. Its solution improves user recognition and match rates and provides a stable, consented and encrypted user ID to replace third-party cookies and MAIDs.
Nextbase is a market leader in connected car technology and driving intelligence, and developer of the world’s largest smart dash cam brand that focuses on driver wellbeing and safety.
techUK at CES 2023
If you’d like to contact techUK about our participation at CES 2023, please get in touch with our Head of Programme for Market Access & Consumer Tech, Lewis Walmesley-Browne at [email protected]
Check out other posts from this techUK @ CES series here: