There’s nothing worse than buying something and finding out that it’s not user-friendly.
While accessibility might prove challenging for traditional businesses, new processes and technologies enable more availability than ever before.
Technology expands opportunities for people who require accessible products and services. If you’re planning to set up a new business this year, it’s vital that any products or services cater for a wide audience.
But it’s easy to get confused and misdirected when you’re thinking of an accessible strategy, so it’s always worth knowing the positive impact and potential of the technologies available.
Why is accessible technology important?
Products and services have frequently been developed with an ableist prerogative in the past. Contemporary development sees more opportunities and suitable for those with disabilities, but the core issue concerns overall accessibility.
However, technologies allow large corporations to develop tools for everyone.
Assistive features in devices mean that more people can use tools that make their lives easier and more convenience. And in everyday services, accessible functions promote an improved user experience, increased compliance and positive recognition for a brand.
4 technologies making the world more accessible
- Voice-powered technology
For those with limited mobility skills or with reduced vision, being able to operate devices with their voice is a game-changer. Whether it’s a quick Google search or sending a detailed message to a contact, voice assistants like Siri make it easier than ever to use a device without touching it or needing to trawl through information first.
- Digital mock-ups
Rather than needing to wait until a physical product is manufactured, companies can now produce digital versions of each project. For many businesses, this process relies on advanced CAD software to enable detailed test piloting before a product reaches its prospective audience.
Before the physical and final item is released, companies can rely on digital mock-ups to identify any flaws. Where a product might be inappropriate for a client or a group of clients, corrections can be made before production is finalised on a bigger scale.
- 3D printing
Complex products and intricate objects previously required immense time and resources. 3D printing works by taking liquified materials like plastics, bio-materials or composites and turning them into tangible items.
Once the objects have been digitally designed with computer-aided design, the possibilities can be remarkable. In one of the most significant medical innovations, patients can now commission custom-built 3D-printed prosthetic limbs.
- Health tracking
Lastly, digitised health tracking and monitoring has transformed wellbeing for millions of people across the world. In the UK, smartphone apps help connect us to our doctor and medical records, which can be incredibly useful for those with social anxiety or other limiting conditions.
And when it comes down to data, smart watches and modern accessories enable us to monitor our own health metrics. A smartwatch by Garmin or Polar, for example, offers live heart rate information and detailed reports on your sleep – and even metrics like blood oxygen saturation levels too.
With smart and digital technologies, the world is easier to understand and simpler to navigate. It’s up to brands to release technologies for everyone, not just the majority.