Wheelchair control via smart glasses
- munevo DRIVE
- Country of Implementation
- Western Europe
- Start Year
- First published
“munevo DRIVE makes life worth living again.” Dirk, a test user of munevo DRIVE
In 2019 the technology company Munevo, based in Munich, Germany, introduced munevo DRIVE – a technology based on smart glasses that allows the steering of a wheelchair through head movements. The glasses are easily connected to any conventional wheelchair via a small adapter, thus supporting those users who are unable to steer their electronic wheelchair through the conventional joystick. Munevo works with specialist dealers and manufacturers regarding the product’s distribution, and in 2021 it had over 100 users in more than five countries.
Many wheelchair users are unable to steer standard electric wheelchairs using their own hands or conventional steering devices.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
munevo DRIVE is a hands-free wheelchair control system that allows the user to steer their wheelchair with head movements using smart glasses that pick-up sensors and translate them into control signals. These signals are transmitted to the wheelchair control unit via a small adapter, which can connect to any conventional electric wheelchair. The adapter is quick to install and to calibrate according to the user’s usual posture and current sitting position. munevo DRIVE also allows users to share their location in case of an emergency, adjust their seating position, and take and share pictures using a camera integrated into the glasses. Munevo collaborated with the Pfennigparade Foundation, an assisted living community for wheelchair users in Munich, to develop and test the system in 2018. The number of people using munevo DRIVE has steadily grown from ten in 2019 to over 100 in 2021.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
munevo DRIVE is distributed through specialist distributors and manufacturers, which act as coordinator among the clients, social security offices, and health insurance providers The price of the basic version is EUR 7,700 and in many cases the cost is covered by health insurance providers. Going forward, Munevo plans to make munevo DRIVE available in more countries, and it will also add more features so that the system can support users with everyday tasks, such as navigation. These planned add-ons will allow the user to control not only a wheelchair but also smartphones, computers, smart home systems, and robotic arms.