More than 50 million people with determination across the Middle East will get an opportunity to explore the world’s latest and smart assistive technology products and solutions at AccessAbilities Expo 2017, Middle East’s largest expo for people with determination, being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC) from November 7-9.
The expo will witness the launch of world’s first smart eyeglasses that will enable people with visual impairment to function without assistance, first-of its kind hearing aids, device to cure stuttering within a few hours, in addition to many other products to cater to different types of disabilities including running prostheses for recreational athletes, leg prosthesis systems, folding electric mobility scooters, specially designed cars allowing driving directly from the wheelchair, high-definition silicone, orthotic, mobility devices, power wheelchairs, innovative solutions for sound sensory stimulation, voice synthesizers, Braille readers, wireless monitoring devices and much more.
For an estimated over 1 billion people (around 15 per cent of world population according to the World Health Organisation), assistive technology is helping individuals with disabilities live more productive, independent and fulfilling lives and its role is projected to increase. According to estimates, the global market for elderly and disabled assistive devices projected to cross $26 billion by 2024, indicating the growing role of assistive technology toward empowering those with disabilities.
The three-day expo will cater to this requirement and bring more than 150 exhibitors showcasing the world’s latest assistive technology and robotics, focused on facilitating integration of people with determination in the society and empowering them.
Cure stuttering within two-three hours
AMMT, a company engaged in providing fully integrated solutions for medical industry, will present a “miracle gadget” named ‘Speecheasy’, a device which helps its user to control stuttering and speak fluently after training within about three hours, in addition to its new equipment and sensory products that can help develop motor skills and social skills among individuals with autism, down syndrome, and other disabilities.
Muwafaq Matari, Managing Partner, AMMT, said: “The inaugural edition of the expo brought a very wide range of assistive technology products under one roof from across the world and the show effectively catered to the needs of people with different types of disabilities.”
MIH Systems Corporation will launch ‘Amal’ smart glasses, for the first ever time in the world, which will enable people with visual impairment to live independent lives and also increase their employability.
Mohammed Islam, CEO, MIH Systems Corporation, which will launch ‘Amal’ smart glasses, said: “The Amal smart glasses will transform lives of people with visual impairment like never before. Not only do these glasses help the user function without constant assistance from others, they also increase their employability as they help the user to read text. We started research for these glasses in year 2010, did rigorous testing on the product and we will use AccessAbilities Expo as the launch pad to benefit the maximum possible number of people.”
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over 285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide: 39 million are blind and 246 have low vision.
The smart glasses can assist people with visual impairment with most tasks right from warning obstacles, reading Arabic and English text, colour recognition of clothes and other objects, knowing the surrounding environment, SOS call service and much more, enabling them to go about their daily routine without any assistance.
Unique hearing aids
Mohammed Kettaneh, Managing Director, Starkey Hearing, which will showcase the first-of-its-kind hearing aids and also devices for those with visual impairment, said: "There is a strong need for innovative assistive technology, which is life transforming, to reach out to millions of people. AccessAbilities, by creating a platform and bringing companies from across the world together, provides the right opportunities to spread use of smart technology throughout the region and benefit millions of people."
The company will introduce BrailleNote touch, a Braille device with touchscreen maximizing the traditional braille literacy and modern type. It is assisted with Google application, a quick access to the mainstream apps, cloud storage, DropBox and even YouTube; Halo, a wireless and digital hearing aid that works on mobile devices for those with hearing impairment and ‘Prodigi Connection’, an electronic magnifier with touchscreen, which uses voice or speech management to relieve reading fatigue.
AccessAbilities Expo is being organised by Reed Exhibitions Middle East and Nadd Al Shiba PR and Event Management.
Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibitions Director, Reed Exhibitions Middle East, said: “In the era of exponential technological advancement, we are witnessing usage applications like never before. AccessAbilities Expo, by bringing the world’s latest technologies under one roof, provides an opportunity to get the best of this life- transforming assistive technology. The UAE’s leadership envisions making the country disabled friendly and there is a significant role that technology can play in achieving the vision.”
The inaugural expo in 2016 was remarkably successful with more than 6,000 people, including individuals with disabilities, their families, educationists, experts from different sectors such as healthcare, technology and infrastructure, and decision-makers, attending the exhibition and exhibitors from 41 countries showcasing the latest products and services at the event.