The BBC reports that a system is being developed to make manipulating the interface of mobile PCs easier for the disabled and the elderly. The BT Balance system consists of an accelerometer on an embedded chip to enable the user to move the cursor around the screen by literally tilting the PC in the desired direction. The accelerometer coupled with software to interpret the movement has been put into a Tablet PC, the perfect platform for such a system.
The tablet PC laptop has been adapted to respond to auser when moving the machine up or down, side to side, or forwards andbackwards.
It is hoped the BT Balance system can help people withdisabilities or the elderly, for whom using a keyboard or mouse can bedifficult.
If you have seen the video review I did of the Fujitsu P1610 then you have already seen such a system in action. Some mobile PCs like the Fujitsu use an accelerometer to recognize if the device is dropped so the system can park the hard drive head to prevent damage and data loss. In the video I demonstrated software on the P1610 that depicts flying across terrain with steering accomplished by tilting the Tablet PC. Sounds like the BT Balance, doesn’t it? With the correct software utility existing systems like the Fujitsu could accomplish what the BT Balance will offer today and open up the world of mobile computing to those who might not otherwise be able to use a portable device.