An Israeli team is helping transform lives of persons with disabilities with an innovative phone.
Sesame Phone was designed by Israeli innovator Giora Livne, who is a quadriplegic, and computer programmer Oded Ben Dov.
Using a head-motion activation device, the phone – the first of its kind in the world – allows people with spinal cord injuries, ALS, cerebral palsy and other disabilities that impair a person’s ability to use their hands and arms, to use a cell phone.
Designed for functionality and with a cool factor, the phone was designed to do everything a regular cell phone does.
Robert Brown lives with ALS. He said Sesame changed his life.
“One of my frustrations is my inability to use my phone independently,” Brown said. “Before Sesame, I longed to be able to send and receive messages on my own and make phone calls without asking for assistance.”
Sesame’s designers also wanted the phone to be friendly for kids so that they had a way to communicate with their friends and better fit in.
They seem to have hit a home run.
Noah Cunningham of the UK received his Sesame phone this Christmas. The 10-year-old has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a debilitating disease that will soon rob him of his ability to use his hands and arms.
When Noah received his phone, he declared it the “best Christmas present ever.”
His mom, Vicki, said that although Noah still sees it as a ‘toy’, the communication tool will change his life.
“At the moment he sees his phone as an amazing new toy and he can’t wait to learn to use it,” Noah’s mom said.” But I know it is going to change his life as his condition progresses. It will give him more independence than we ever imagined.”
The Sesame team recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to support the phone’s launch. With five days remaining, they had already reached their goal, which will allow them to continue develop and donate free phones to those in need.