Chad Ruble’s mom has aphasia, a condition she acquired because of a stroke that she had 12 years ago. Like many other people with aphasia, Chad’s mom has a hard time reading and writing, so she can’t use email the way the rest of us do. But with the help of Chad and a Microsoft Kinect, she can now send simple emails.
Chad made a “visual dashboard” that shows a range of emoticons as well as signal bars to help her mom indicate the intensity of those emotions, e.g. there’s an icon for happiness, and the signal bars let her specify how happy she is.
He then used a Kinect and a program he based on open source code to track his mom’s hand as well as to generate and send the email.
It’s okay. I cried a bit too. Wipe your tears and head to Chad’s blog for more details on his hack. I wonder if the dashboard would be easier to use via a touchscreen device.