User tools

This is a short introduction to Dynamic Controls and the products it develops for wheelchair users.

Key content

Key content

The mobility market had been complaining for years that wheelchairs needed to get out of the 80s and into the internet era. Mobility is as much an emotional need as a physical one. Christchurch-based company Dynamic Controls knows this, and the company focuses research and development on solutions that enhance quality of life for wheelchair users.

With the introduction of the iPortal™, Dynamic Controls has brought wheelchairs into the 21st century.

The iPortal™ is the first mobility solution that links wheelchairs with devices such as iPhones and iPads. The easy swipes and clicks of an iPhone or iPad are now accessible to wheelchair users by mounting an iPortal™ on their wheelchair. With the iPortal™, wheelchair information can be displayed in real time, similar to a car dashboard. The user has all their usual iPhone facilities on hand with the flexible mounting arm and cradle. They can surf the internet, make phone calls, take photos and more. This can be done either directly with their device or, if their mobility is more limited, by using the wheelchair’s joystick or head controls. The iPortal™ also has a diagnostic feature that allows the user to instantly detect any problems with the chair.

This is only the start of a revolution in wheelchair technology. Thanks to funding from the Ministry of Science and Innovation, Dynamic Controls is working on new systems for improving the comfort and health of wheelchair users.

Things to think about

Things to think about

Find out more about Dynamic Controls.
www.dynamiccontrols.comexternal link

Transcript

Transcript

VOICEOVER:
Wheelchairs. They used to get you from A to B…. but their latest number is text on wheels.

VOICEOVER:
Christchurch company Dynamic Controls have been an international name in electronic wheelchair controls for the last three decades but in recent years, Dynamic has lost its dynamism.

CHARLOTTE WALSHE:
We had a culture that had become about making black boxes, we really had to change the way we thought of ourselves, re-finding if you like, our focus on the end user and using that to drive all our innovation.

VOICEOVER:
Users told them that wheelchairs needed to get out of the eighties and into the world wide web.

CHARLOTTE WALSHE:
When we looked at it so much of the technology that’s around for people in wheelchairs, it’s very black and ugly and ‘70s and not connected, and very limiting or disabling. We had picked up some i-Phones ourselves recently and we said this stuff should be accessible to everyone, not just to me or someone who’s able bodied.

VOICEOVER:
So Dynamic Controls invented the i-Portal which allows electronic wheelchairs to talk to an i-device.

ADRIAN KAY:
The i-Portal is the first interfacer we know of between a power wheelchair and a mainstream communication device like an i-Phone.

CHARLOTTE WALSHE:
What really excites me about i-Portal is the accessibility it gives people. It enables people who are always in a wheelchair to be connected in a way that they haven’t been able to be connected before. Take a photo, read a book, all of those sorts of thing people just take for granted. But actually with a severe disability in a wheelchair, you really don’t have that, you don’t have access to that sort of functionality without someone sitting there next to you.

VOICEOVER:
Dynamic Controls is only the second company in the world to design a medical app for Apple touch screens.

ADRIAN KAY:
The i-Portal is a really upmarket display for a power wheelchair so it can show them speed, battery condition, the speed settings on their wheelchair.

This is one of the cool things about i-Portal, it’s the fault reporting. It’s so much better than the old flashing lights.

VOICEOVER:
After a years worth of i-Portal success, Dynamic Controls isn’t just spinning its wheels.

CHARLOTTE WALSHE:
We got feedback from people that while our original i-Portal app delivered was good but our, it would be great if I could connect to all of those things if I didn’t have strong hand control. So we said lets give it a go.

ADRIAN KAY:
Accessibility which is the latest upgrade to i-Portal, allows the user to access the i-Phone, i-Pad touch using their joystick remote or a head control system. If i-Portal was a horse then i-Portal accessibility would be the stallion.

CHARLOTTE WALSHE:
It’s kind of funny the thing that really brought it home for me, this accessibility was when the development guys said Charlotte come and have a look at where we’ve got to so far. And they took a photo using the joystick controller, they said now you could do this with the head array or with the joystick or whatever you like, and the hairs on my arm just stood up.

Because it’s such a simple thing to be able to take a photo of your friends… or a beautiful piece of scenery, or your kids and it’s something I take for granted. But for our wheelchair users it hasn’t been so accessible, now it is with i-Portal accessibility and that’s really cool.

VOICEOVER:
Now thanks to funding from the Ministry of Science and Innovation the company is researching new systems for improving the comfort and health of wheelchair users.

CHARLOTTE WALSHE:
That’s really where we see our future, someone’s total health.

VOICEOVER:
It’s going to be a revolution in wheelchairs.

Go to www.biotechlearn.org.nz