Staybl, a new free software, makes the iPad simpler to use for folks who suffer from uncontrollable hand tremors caused by diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.
The app was developed by Havas Creative’s New York and Germany offices following two years of collaboration with specialists from the German Parkinson’s Association and Parkinson’s sufferers in Germany and the United States.
Their mission is to increase access to technology for those living with Parkinson’s disease and other tremor-causing diseases. While the software is now only accessible on Apple’s iPad, its designers want to expand its availability in the future to other digital devices and platforms.
Tremors are one of the first signs of Parkinson’s disease, an irreversible neurodegenerative condition of the central nervous system. Over time, these tremors — which most typically affect the hands — may make ordinary actions like dressing or using mobile devices more difficult, lowering a person’s overall quality of life.
However, by utilizing the accelerometer on the iPad, Staybl can detect when the tablet is shook due to vibrations and promptly adapt by repositioning its on-screen web browser. This stabilizes the screen, allowing the user to easily read the web page and maintain control of the device.
Additionally, the app’s browser has additional capabilities that help using the iPad simpler for individuals who suffer from hand tremors. For example, it eliminates swipe and slide movements for navigation, incorporates bigger, easier-to-press buttons, and has customisable settings to address tremor symptoms that fluctuate throughout the day.
The free software is available via the App Store, only compatible with iPads running iPadOS 14 or later.
Staybl is one of a number of solutions created by technology businesses over the years to assist persons living with Parkinson’s-related hand tremors. For example, Liftware developed an electric spoon to assist persons with the disease in feeding themselves more steadily. Its microprocessor and sensors are capable of detecting tremors and causing the spoon to move in the opposite direction, canceling out the motions.
These capabilities are in addition to a handful things Apple currently offers — some of which are mentioned on the accessibility section of the company’s website — that may make using mobile devices a bit simpler for folks who suffer from hand tremors. On the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, HomePod, and iPod Touch, for example, Apple includes a “Hold direction” setting under “Touch Accommodations Control.” This enables users to specify the amount of time their fingerprint must be in contact with the screen before the phone detects and processes it.