Music Player for the Ability-Impaired

Most of the hacks we come across here at Hackaday don’t require much more than being “cool” to get our attention. But, every so often we find something that goes a step beyond that and does something truly good for the world. This is one such project, and its goal couldn’t be anymore altruistic: to allow the elderly to enjoy music, even when their declining vision and motor skills make traditional devices difficult to use.

It’s hard to overstate how important music is to people; there are few forms of art more emotionally effective. So, it was a major loss when an elderly relative of [DusteD] was no longer able to operate their CD player. Luckily, [DusteD] was there with an ingenious solution that uses RFID cards to play music from an always-on Raspberry Pi.

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Just Don’t Call it an Old Remote

[Hari Wiguna’s] father is ninety years young. He started having trouble pushing the buttons on his TV remote, so [Hari] decided to build a custom remote that just has the buttons his dad needs. Oh, and the buttons are big.

There are a few interesting things about this project. [Hari] wanted to maximize battery life, so he went through a good bit of effort to keep the processor asleep and minimize power consumption. The remote is programmable, but [Hari] didn’t have access to his dad’s remotes. His answer was elegant. He used his Android phone to mimic the required remotes and provided a way for the remote to learn from another remote (in this case, the phone).
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RFID controlled phone dialing

phone1

In an attempt to create an easier to use interface for the elderly, [Stephen] has put together this phone prototype which uses RFID tags to dial. It is common for our motor skills and eyesight to deteriorate as we get older. There are special phones out there, but generally the only changes they make are enlarged buttons and louder speakers. [Stephen] had the idea to make a system where an elderly person would hold up a picture of the person to the phone and it would dial. He picked up an RFID card reader and an Arduino. The code for the RFID reader was already available, and with minor modifications to prevent multiple swipes from hand tremors or slow movements, he was able to get it working pretty fast. The Arduino then sends the data to an ioBridge to make the call.He’s using Google voice to physically place the call, so you could probably adapt this to other services as well. You can see a video of it in action after the break.

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