Two technology solutions improve the lives of wheelchair users and those with disabilities
Arrow Electronics has announced ‘Dani’, its new Data Analytics & Network Innovation Project, helping to improve the lives of wheelchair users and those with limited mobility.
At the centre of the DANI Project is 28-year-old wheelchair tennis player Dani Caverzaschi, who was born missing most of his right leg and having several malformations on his left one. Dani plays on the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) Wheelchair Tennis Tour.
Arrow and Caverzaschi are collaborating on two technology solutions to improve the lives of wheelchair users and those with disabilities:
• ‘WheelWay’ – an innovative navigation system, specifically designed for anyone with limited mobility, helping to overcome mobility-related issues around cities, and;
• ‘DataRally’– live, real-time data, sourced from sensors on an athlete’s wheelchair, equipment and body, enabling him / her to analyse, refine and improve competitive performance
Expanding on Arrow’s experience and expertise, the two initiatives demonstrate new ways of approaching mobility – in an integrated way – and feature new technologies that combine advanced hardware and software, cloud architecture and analytics to collect and analyse data. Uniquely, the data is specifically relevant to the needs of those in a wheelchair or with limited mobility.
WheelWay focuses on ‘what’s possible,’ rather than obstacles, enabling wheelchair users to plan journeys and discover the city around them. Routing instructions combine ‘live’ data from Smart GPS and public open cloud services, to provide ‘real time,’ mobility-friendly routing information. It is a singular solution for the disabled community.
The second initiative, DataRally, is designed for professional wheelchair athletes; to improve performance and help gain a competitive edge. Until now, Dani has had to rely on feel and intuition to analyse his game. Now, utilizing sensors on his wheelchair, tennis racquet and a wearable device on his wrist, DataRally enables Dani and his coach to collect and analyse real-time data from every match and training session – and establish precise areas of his game to work on.
The technology can be adapted to measure speed, acceleration, distance covered, impacts, number of turns, heart rate, service speed, ball placement on the racquet and more.
“These solutions don’t take over; they’re not making me more dependent,” said Caverzaschi, whose objective it is to normalise disability. “I generate the data, which is then analysed – the information then comes back to me, via the apps, enabling me to make informed decisions. I decide where to go and what to do. I decide how to adjust on the court. It’s giving me more choice; more freedom and opportunity.”
DANI is an Edge computing project that brings computation and data storage closer to the source of data – in this case, Dani. Each technology is being developed by members of Arrow’s Graduate Programme; young employees who, like Dani, are digital natives in their 20s.
Arrow unveiled the project at ChangeNOW, a three-day international summit in Paris earlier in May that brought together visionaries and leading innovators, who shared their innovations and solutions to protect the planet and make life more sustainable.