The smart sunglasses on display at the AccessAbilities Expo 2017 Image Credit: XPRESS/Sharmila Dhal

Dubai: The world’s first smart eyeglasses for the visually impaired, a Braille smart watch, a first of its kind Bluetooth hearing aid and wheelchairs from which you can play tennis and basketball, even dance – these are some of the new technologies on display at the AccessAbilities Expo 2017 which opened on Tuesday in Dubai.

According to Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and Group, who inaugurated the expo, “Advancements in technology are helping people of determination function in a way that was not even thought of earlier, empowering and enabling them to be independent as well as increasing their employability.”

XPRESS looks at some of the new technologies for people of determination.

Smart sunglasses

MIH Systems Corporation has introduced the innovative AMAL Glass for the blind and visually impaired.

The sunglasses have 25 different applications and can assist the wearer with everything from sensing what is around them and identifying their location to recognising people, colours and currency.

It can help the person to take pictures, make audio recordings, read barcodes, listen to the radio and even play laser games. It also gives them an OCR text reading ability in both English and Arabic. The user-friendly and highly employable device costs Dh,1500.

Braille smart watch

A product of DOT Incorporation from Korea, the DOT watch can work in tandem with the blind or visually impaired person’s smartphone for real-time notification and call management.

Besides the pairing facility, other features include a state-of-the-art actuator that glides and shifts to tell the time, an alarm and stopwatch, a mobile app and an open platform which allows them to harness their talents.

The watch is currently available in three colours: gold, silver and black. It costs Dh1,175.

BrailleNote Touch

This new interface by Humanware being distributed by Silver Gate combines the benefits of KeySoft and braille literacy of a traditional note taker with the efficiency and power of a modern tablet or smartphone. It is the first Android all-in-one braille tablet providing Play Store access. It supports Google Play Store for accessible third party apps and has a user-friendly menu, supporting braille translation in multiple languages. Cost: Around Dh30,000.

Bluetooth Hearing Aid

A digital complex hearing aid with wireless Bluetooth and general hearing aid function, this ESOB device being distributed by Kunyoong IBC Co from Korea can be used for smartphone wireless calls as well as to listen to music and as a voice amplifier. It is compatible with cochlear implants. Accessories include a earphone, an optional neck loop and a clip. Cost: Dh199.

Multi-activity wheelchairs

Roma Sport from the UK makes high-performance wheelchairs that can be used for a variety of sports, including tennis, rugby and basketball, and other activities like dance. Each of them has its own specs. For instance, the basketball wheelchair is built for a fast-paced game where speed and control are essential. The lightweight, manoevrable chairs are made to measure with bespoke options. Similarly, the dance wheelchair offers versatility to suit multiple styles and classifications of wheelchair dance. Cost: Dh4,600 to Dh17,000.