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Tecla Hands-free Technology a Must Have for Quadriplegics

Using the phone is a task most people don't think about, but for a quadriplegic, this can be daunting, especially if it's a smartphone. With so many tasks at your fingertips, when you can't use your fingertips, it can seem like a cruel injustice. This is a big reason why the Tecla was invented.

Tecla is a device that allows you to control all kinds of important devices - your smartphone, tablet, computers, your wheelchair and more - from one singular controller and it’s able to do so by utilizing Bluetooth technology. It is a truly astonishing piece of technology that can replace multiple devices a quadriplegic with limited mobility would need otherwise, like:

  • a page-turner,
  • switch adapted remotes,
  • cameras,
  • MP3 players, or
  • hands-free intercoms.

The makers of the device are right when they say purchasing the device will replace five single-purpose devices, and you will save roughly $1,500. This is quite often a significant amount of money for someone with a spinal cord injury.

Built in Canada, the company behind Tecla is Komodo OpenLab. They first released the Tecla Shield, which is the first generation of the device. The Tecla Shield has the ability to control your computer, smartphone, and tablet, but it cannot control any smart home appliances, which is why the Tecla-e was introduced. Many quadriplegics still use their Tecla Shield, such as Ian Mackay, who used his Tecla Shield when he crossed the entire state of Washington this summer in his power wheelchair. Using his Tecla shield, he was able to use his smartphone completely, which helped him plan routes, check the temperature outside and communicate with the outside world.

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The Tecla-e is a device that Ian should take for his next ride, as the latest version has Bluetooth enabled remote monitoring which allows people who care about you to know where you are at all times. For vent-users, this is a great feature. It can also tell you the temperature of wherever you are as well, which is essential to the safety of people with spinal cord injuries.

What is especially exciting about the Tecla no matter the version you purchase is its ability to communicate with nearly any switch on the market. Switches are what people with limited mobility use to interact with devices. For those with limited arm mobility, they can sometimes touch these buttons, but for many with higher injuries, physically touching buttons is impossible, which is why the Tecla-e is so critical to the independence of people with quadriplegia.

The new Tecla-e lets you communicate with many smart home devices on the market. It can communicate with devices like:

  • Nest Thermostat,
  • Philips Hue lights,
  • Samsung SmartThings home automation,
  • controlling the TV,
  • answering phone calls,
  • Amazon Echo,
  • Google Home, and more.

You can also use the Tecla-e to connect to your wheelchair driving controls using Switch Control on iOS and Switch Access for Android.

Another cool feature of the Tecla-e is its built-in motion and ambient light sensors, and it has a built-in button that can be used as an additional switch. The battery on the Tecla-e is also a big deal, as it will run for 48 hours of use without needing to be charged.

In total, the Tecla-e can connect to up to nine switches if you use the Multiple Switch Adapter. For quads that are super tech-savvy, this is a must-have device no matter how you look at it. It may be expensive at $499, but when you look at all it can do, it is priceless.

- Learn more: Tecla-e (gettecla.com/products/tecla-e)

- Learn more: Tecla-Shield (gettecla.com/products/tecla-shield)

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Topics: Technology & Advancements, Accessibility & Adaptations

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