Hands-free? Holy cow yesJul 10 03:43
When you can’t move your hands, hands-free ANYTHING is alluring. I’m talking about hands-free inventions - an upgrade to tools and other things that (once) needed a working hand to use independently, but now - woop, woop - do not, thanks to the 21st century super awesome engineers. Add some sprockets, a dash of electricity, and bam, you’re using it too, not even thinking about because its so easy, just like everyone else.
This brings me to my point, and why my mind is dreaming up where hands-free technology can go. Have you ever bought a product from an infomercial and loved it? Well I hadn’t (was burned on the ab electrode stimulator just like everyone else), until I received the One-Touch Automatic Can Opener from my Mom. And OMG it has become one of the most delightful gadgets I’ve ever owned. Really, truly.
When I first saw that I had received a can opener? for Christmas, I was annoyed. Gifts are supposed to be fun, I thought, but little did I know how much awesomeness was in store. It sat in my drawer until recently, when I popped it on a can of black beans, and HOLY COW, it just started going by itself. It has a sensor so once you set it on top of a can, it’ll just start going. And once it goes around, it stops, leaving the only thing left for you to do is to is lift the opener off the can.
After I discovered this thing worked as billed, even better really, I realized how much more freedom that meant to me. So exciting! It meant no longer needing my morning PCA to pre-open cans if I wanted to cook later (the standard electric can opener never worked for me either). It meant eating SpaghettiOs whenever I wanted. This can opener made me forget about my zero-dexterity. I’ve even begun to enjoy the way it sounds. Ha.
Other hands-free technology? Berkeley recently installed some brilliant hands-free call buttons on-campus, so people with no arm movement can hit the button with their footrest to signal the light. SO cool. And you can’t forget about speaker phones, Bluetooth headsets, sensor-relying faucets, voice-activated software like Dragon Dictate (voice-activated anything really if you’re a millionaire. Have you seen Bill Gates‘ house?).
The list is long, but not long enough. I need more moments like the one I had with the One-Touch can opener moment ; a breathe of fresh air moment when you get the ability to do something back. So great.
What other hands-free technology am I forgetting?
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1. Tara | Jul 13 02:16
Tiff I'm so glad I read this post because opening cans is a nightmare for me and I have wondered about that can opener but like you I was sucked in by the ab thing and it didn't work. Going to get the can opener now.. Thank you!!!!
2. Tiffiny | Jul 15 06:21
They have them at Target too! :D
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.