At the upcoming SXSW Conference… Honda will give attendees a chance to try out a new mobility device… specifically designed for mixed reality entertainment experiences.

Users can steer… without the use of their hands — they simply have to lean into one direction to move forwards, backwards, sideways or diagonally.

Wall-e humans in mobile chairs with AR

  • jordanlund@lemmy.world
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    5 months ago

    As someone who uses a chair regularly…

    1. No back support. Whoever sits on that will be hating life in less than 20 minutes.

    2. Leaning to make the chair move, what if I’m just uncomfortable and need to change position?

    3. The little caster wheels at each corner are useless and will get caught on any imperfection in the road or texture change, bringing the chair to a halt.

    Did they actually, you know, talk to any disabled people while designing this?

    • gamermanh@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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      5 months ago

      Did they actually, you know, talk to any disabled people while designing this?

      No, why would they when that’s not the target demographic or use case?

      specifically designed for mixed reality entertainment experiences

      Sounds like they’re not in use as mobility devices for the disabled but as a more interactive ride vehicle at an attraction, which also means the uncomfortableness is less of an issue and that they’ll likely be used in places where the caster wheels will be on smooth surfaces and not an issue

      Frankly this sounds like a neat idea and could be something very cool, but we’ll have to see it in action first and the first generation or 2 are likely to suck monkey balls

      • Jtotheb@lemmy.world
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        5 months ago

        Well, maybe the first generation or two wouldn’t suck if they had consulted people who use wheelchairs and know how they should be designed. Too bad they thought the same way you do and said ‘why bother’!

      • eethi@lemmy.world
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        5 months ago

        On top of what OP said, why aren’t disabled people one of the target demographics*? Its literally a gaming experience that is mobile was also being able to be super accessible physically for a lot of disabled people. It’s also bad design practices, you need to consider access from the start - trying to shoehorn it in later can lead to sub-par access measures, or much bigger re-designs, or worst case just, parts of it not being accessible at all.

    • TheaoneAndOnly27@kbin.social
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      5 months ago

      There’s a really cool episode of the podcast Factually touching on what you’re talking about.

      https://eightify.app/summary/social-issues/prioritizing-disability-needs-in-technology-and-society-factually-239

      (Side note, I’ve never seen this website but I really dig that it has question and answer summaries on the bottom. That was super cool.)

      Edit: also, as somebody who is disabled who can’t lean forward without intense pain, these wheelchairs would be hell.

    • Boatman@lemm.ee
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      5 months ago

      The little caster wheels at each corner are useless and will get caught on any imperfection in the road or texture change, bringing the chair to a halt.

      That’s when it’s in the parked position. When it’s in motion the seat is raised and the wheels get out of the way.

      • jordanlund@lemmy.world
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        5 months ago

        If you zoom in on the photo of the chairs ostensibly “in motion” with the 4 support wheels lifted up and out of the way, the chair is still using little caster wheels underneath that will be a problem. You can see them at the corners.

        These sorts of wheels are so problematic that there’s an aftermarket wheel for standard chairs to lift them up off the ground.

        https://youtu.be/Bpq712DVqis