A smart, stabilized web browser makes it easier to read on iPad for users with hand tremors
Even though technology has helped improve our lives, it’s not always as accessible as it could be, especially for people with conditions like Parkinson’s disease, which can cause tremors that make it difficult to walk. use of certain devices. But a new app called Staybl takes advantage of a feature that’s been included in the iPad since day one to make a simple task like surfing the web easier, even when shaky.
Although the effects of Parkinson’s disease, “a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system”, can take years to appear, early symptoms include tremors in many parts of the body, but most commonly the hands, which can make the simplest of tasks extremely difficult. That’s why, in the past, we’ve seen companies develop assistive devices like stabilized spoons that counteract shaky movements allowing people with Parkinson’s to feed themselves again. Staybl was created to do the same thing but with mobile devices by taking advantage of already present technologies that are otherwise used for gaming, exercise tracking or just automatic screen rotation.
The app was developed by Havas New York and Havas Germany who spent two years working with the German Parkinson’s Association and Parkinson’s patients in Germany and the United States to test and optimize the app. At its core, it relies on an iPad’s accelerometer to detect subtle movements of hand shakes, then drag an on-screen web browser window in the opposite direction to cancel out those movements, offering the user a stabilized and stable view of a web page. while holding a mobile device.
Other improvements to the Staybl app that help make it more accessible and usable for people with hand tremors are the removal of swipe and swipe gestures needed for navigation, enlarged buttons that are easier to press, a higher contrast interface and the use of the hyperreadable Atkinson Sans Serif Font developed by the Braille Institute for improved readability for visually impaired readers through a design that makes it easier to differentiate between individual letters.
The Staybl app is currently available as a free download through the App Store for iPads running iPadOS 14.0 or later, as it requires a larger screen and faster device refresh rates, but its creators are hoping for the bring to other devices and platforms in the future. .