Did you know your Power Wheelchair could have Bluetooth?


Did you know your Power Wheelchair could have Bluetooth?


We live in a connected world. A world full of phones, tablets, and computers. Most of us use technology every single day. For many of us, it is difficult to even be without technology for a few hours. We are constantly looking at our phones whether it is to see the time, make a call/text, or use one of the thousands of apps available to us. For individuals with impaired hand/upper extremity weakness, being able to fully use a phone or computer is not always possible.
For many years now, most power wheelchair manufacturers have integrated Bluetooth into their chairs. What does this mean? It means that the wheelchair user can have their phone, tablet or computer connected to their wheelchair. The power wheelchair can control their phone, tablet, or computer with their driving device. Bluetooth can be utilised with any driver control: joystick, head array, chin drive, etc…

The type of connection will depend on the type of device. For iPhones this connection will be through switches where a blue box will appear on the phone allowing for selection of items. For Android and Microsoft phones and computers this connection will be through mouse emulation where a mouse pointer will appear on the screen.

The video below is an example of a Bluetooth iPhone connection with switches. A big Thank You to Todd Stabelfeldt for posting this great video.
The best part about Bluetooth on the wheelchair? As a therapist you can set this up on your client’s wheelchair. The set up will vary slightly based on each manufacturer and the age of the wheelchair and also the type of joystick or speciality input device is being used.
Included below are two quick start guides for getting started with Bluetooth on both iDevices and Android/computers on Permobil power wheelchairs with the Permobil Joystick Module.

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