February 21, 2013 by dontbringlulubook
With INQ Material taking all the best parts from the Internet and adding your own personal preferences that you’ve unwittingly uploaded to social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, to create an Android app that, as INQ would say “maps your social DNA” – in other words, creating a service that pulls together all the cool, interesting stuff you’d like to read or be made aware of, technology nowadays is pre-empting your needs even before you know they are your needs.
In the past, if it was a recipe we wanted to know how to make, we’d turn to our cookery books. If we wanted to diagnose whether we were suffering from a minor cold or battling the onslaught of flu, we’d look in our medial directory or wait for the first available doctor’s appointment. If we were lost for words, we’d look in our dictionary. Nowadays, everything we could possibly require is at the touch of a button and whilst danger may lie in misdiagnosis of illnesses, vocabulary or fine dining, there are certain benefits that are impossible to quantify.
Kevin Beverley, from Barnsley in South Yorkshire was left brain-damaged and paralysed in a brutal attack twenty years ago which left him with broken bones, severe brain damage, right side paralysis and the loss of the ability to speak which meant he could only communicate by making noises or gestures. But, as a result of a new iPad app that actually “speaks” for him, he is now able to communicate with others for the first time. His first words were: “At last. Someone can hear me.” The Grid Player application allows him to string sentences together by pressing symbols and pictures on his iPad with the technology allowing disabled users to communicate through a computer that tracks movement in the person’s eyes.
For Lulu, in the Onions’ recently published book “Don’t Bring Lulu”, diagnosed very early as being without a thyroid gland, it brought about a number of emotional and physical problems for her and her family – for Lulu, in an age before apps were invented, it was her love of music and drama that gave her a sense of release that was often not possible due to her limitations.
So whilst technology may be racing ahead faster than some people would like, meaning that in years to come, rather than archives of manuscripts that detail our ancestors’ lives we will be turning to social media sites such as Facebook to discover what sort of lives our relatives led, there’s no denying that it can give an exhilarating sense of freedom to people that previously never existed.