AT&T and Permobil Develop Wirelessly Connected Wheelchair Proof of Concept Using IoT Technology

By CIOReview | Wednesday, September 30, 2015

FREMONT, CA: AT&T, a telecommunications company and Permobil, a manufacturer of medical devices, unveils wirelessly connected wheelchair proof of concept based on AT&T's Internet of Things (IoT) technology to empower people with disabilities and improve their life. The key functions of the new solution include:

TrackingSeating Position and Cushion Pressure: The wireless wheelchair will let users know if their ROHO seat cushion pressure is out of range.  It complements Permobil's Virtual Seating Coach, an app and cloud service that presents seating system information and tracks if users are following recommended seat function regimens. There are sensors to tell about the pressure on the seat cushion and its positions and to monitor the battery level.

Prior Knowledge of Maintenance Requirements: By remotely accessing error codes, manufacturers can get to know when a chair needs to be serviced which helps them to solve the issue in single-trip visit.

Wireless Location Technology: Using GPS location tracking, family, friends and health care professionals can monitor where a wheelchair user is located. It has accelerometer to detect when the chair is turned on its side. It helps manufacturers to schedule demos and appointments.

The solution has been developed and tested at the AT&T Foundry to let users access data remotely in the highly secure cloud and share them with caregivers, fleet technicians and clinicians to improve the their health.The connected wheelchair uses AT&T’s IoT technology that includes a Global SIM, AT&T Control Center and developer solutions like M2X and AT&T Flow Designer.

"The connected wheelchair is a great example of how the AT&T Foundry can quickly collaborate with a customer on a proof of concept to bring connectivity and intelligence to a new range of devices. We're using innovative technology to solve real-world problems and, in this case, potentially improve quality of life," says Mike Troiano, Vice President, AT&T Industrial IoT Solutions.