On Wednesday, Intel quietly hosted its annual development conference in San Francisco. We may have been distracted by the Apple Event going nearby – all those glowing photos of the new iPhones and iWatch (sorry, Apple Watch) – but Intel showcased some pretty neat stuff as well.
The most intriguing: A connected wheelchair, designed by a team of the company’s engineering interns and currently being developed by Intel’s Internet of Things department.
The device collects health data from the user, including heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature, according to the Verge. In addition, the chair allows users to quickly and efficiently evaluate the wheelchair accessibility of new locations.
Physicist Stephen Hawking, whose life story will soon be brought to the silver screen in the biopic drama The Theory of Everything, showcases the connected wheelchair in an Intel video.
“I am the guy who made black holes cool,” he says, before speaking about how Intel’s connected wheelchair is just one example of “how science and technology can help people with disabilities.”
"I've lived my life on the edge pushing the boundaries of not just science but what my body can do. Medicine can't cure me, so I rely on technology,” Hawkings says. “This is a great example of how technology for the disabled is often a proving ground for the technology of the future.”
Watch the video below.