Compatibility Concerns: Navigating the Challenges of Assistive Technology Integration
Sometimes, the assistive technology may not work well with other devices a person may already have. Compatibility issues can be a significant challenge when it comes to assistive technology (AT). Some common compatibility issues include:
- Operating system compatibility: Some AT devices may only work with certain operating systems, which can be a problem if the user's computer or mobile device uses a different operating system.
- Smartphone compatibility: If the user's existing hardware is not compatible, they may need to purchase additional equipment. Some Android devices may not be compatible. Many times, users owning android devices feel the need to switch to apple devices to gain compatibility advantage.
- Integration with Apple TV, smartwatch: Many AT devices need to integrate with other devices or software programs to be effective. If there are compatibility issues between these devices or programs, the AT may not function properly.
- Connectivity: Some AT devices may require a specific type of connection, such as a USB port or Bluetooth connection. If the user's device does not have the required connection, they may need to purchase additional equipment or use an adapter.
- Updates and upgrades: As technology advances, software and hardware may need to be updated or upgraded to maintain compatibility. If the user's AT device is not updated or upgraded, it may become incompatible with other devices or software.
Addressing compatibility issues will require ensuring that AT devices are designed with compatibility in mind, providing clear guidance on hardware and software requirements, and offering support services to help users troubleshoot compatibility issues. It is also important for manufacturers to stay up-to-date with the latest technology trends and to provide regular updates and upgrades to their products to maintain compatibility with other devices and software programs.
As AT manufacturers ourselves, we take compatibility very seriously. We cannot claim to have absolutely figured it out as we face the usual technical restraints as a young company, but we will always be customer focussed first. Functionality wise, we have made sure both iOS and Android devices are supported to the highest level. The Hable One received periodic software upgrades and until last year, this would have to be done with a Windows PC. Based on feedback we have received over the course of last year, we have made updating your Hable One using your iPhone or iPad possible! But we are not yet satisfied. We are working on an Android app to make sure our TalkBack users are not left behind.