Museum of possibilities showcases Amazon’s Alexa for PWDs

Technologies and assistive devices can act as the eyes, ears, and hands that people with impairments need to live independently at home. The “Museum of Possibilities” is the first facility for disabled people in the state of Tamil Nadu, and it showcases a variety of accessible technologies and aids, including Amazon’s Alexa voice service, Echo smart speakers, and Fire TV.

The Museum of Possibilities in Chennai was started by the Tamil Nadu government, the Commissionerate for the Welfare of the Differently Abled, and the NGO Vidya Sagar to show how assistive technologies can help people with disabilities live independently.

The Museum of Possibilities has more than 250 products from local and international brands on display. It is a dynamic space that will keep changing as new technologies and tools become available.

Visitors to the museum can discover how, using simple voice commands, Alexa enables people with vision and locomotor impairments to access entertainment content, obtain information, manage smart home appliances, interact with friends and family, and maintain organization.

Each section of the 2,500-square-foot museum shows how people with disabilities can use accessible products in their daily lives. The sections available are called Live, Work, and Play.

  • The “Live” area features a model accessible home with Universal Design principles and assistive gadgets for the living room, kitchen, dining room, bedroom, and bathroom.
  • The bedroom has a touch lamp and a wheelchair-accessible bathroom. It also boasts an Amazon Echo Show, allowing visitors to use Alexa hands-free to manage smart bulbs, listen to music, read Audible stories, set alarms and reminders, get news updates, watch movies, and more.
  • Adaptive knives, plates, spoons, glasses, and bottles are in the kitchen. The Echo Dot smart speaker can set kitchen timers, answer questions about ingredients and nutrition, calculate cooking conversions, and provide recipes.
  • The “Work” room features a weaving loom, medical equipment with aural output, screen reading apps, speech-to-text software, adapted spectacles, and a weight-reading scale. A smart speaker in a cubicle can be used to listen to news summaries, keep track of to-do lists, and make reminders.
  • The “Play” domain includes braille board games, musical instruments, and adaptive garden tools. Alexa-enabled smart speakers can be used to play music, games, and jokes.

The visiting hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, except Tuesdays. For more information visit here.

The Museum of Possibilities is located at No. 5, Kamaraj Salai, State Commissionerate for the Welfare Differently Abled, Lady Willingdon Campus, Marina Beach Road, opposite Avvaiyar Statue, Triplicane, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600005.

Speaking on the announcement, Tmt. Jacintha Lazarus I.A.S. and Commissioner, Differently Abled, Tamil Nadu, said:

Until you or someone close to you has experienced a disability, it’s rare that you’d have had the opportunity to understand the everyday needs of someone without the ability to see, hear or move the way able-bodies can.

It’s great to have Amazon joining us on our mission to show the big and small steps families and communities can take to understand and provide assistive and adaptive technologies to help those that need it to better manage everyday life.

Dilip R.S., Country Manager for Alexa, Amazon India, said:

We have received encouraging feedback from customers in India with mobility, vision, as well as speech disabilities on their unique requirements and ways of interacting with Alexa for entertainment as well as to get things done.

It was great to work with the Museum of Possibilities team for integrating the Alexa experience and Echo devices into the Museum, showing the benefits of voice and AI. We hope the Museum’s smart and accessible home exhibits will show people with disabilities and their families how voice services and accessible technologies can help people of all needs and abilities live more confidently and independently.

Poonam Natarajan, Founder and Board Member of Vidya Sagar, adds

The Museum of Possibilities plays a key role in showcasing how innovative technology can create new opportunities and improve quality of life for people with disabilities. It is an honor to be part of this initiative in partnership with the State Commissionerate for the Welfare of the Differently Abled. We invite people with disabilities, caregivers, and professionals working in this domain for a hands-on experience of the assistive devices displayed at the Museum.