The wonders of technology seemingly know few bounds, but while we frequently see stories of how cool tech can be when traditions are broken and new benchmarks are set, it’s always nice to appreciate that, in many cases, technology can be a truly inspiring, even life-changing commodity. This is certainly the case for 34-year-old Jason Koger who, having lost the vast majority of both of his arms in an accident, had a bionic limb fitted which is controlled, in part, by an iPhone app. What makes this story even more heart warming though, is that the limb has also allowed Koger, for the very first time, to hold his daughter’s hand.
Prosthetic limbs tend to be very limited in the amount of movement they allow the wearer. But this one, designed by UK-based company Touch Bionics, is remarkably versatile, and with 24 different types of grip, offers possibilities to Koger he could only previously have dreamed of.
iPhone app used to control a man’s bionic arm.
The bionic hand comes with its own iPhone app, and although the various touch-based grips are said to be difficult to master, the way in which the entire system works is quite remarkable. An icon on the iPhone’s display facilitates all of these movements, and while Koger can now use his new hand to train himself to control a computer mouse, it was, poignantly, the touch of his daughter’s hand that really hit home just how enriching the bionic arm would be:
For the first time in five years I can hold my daughter’s hand. . . I can’t tell you what a gift that feels like.
Analysts and tech commentators have repeatedly pointed to Apple’s lack of innovation in iOS over the past few years, but the same certainly cannot be said for some of the developers. Touch Bionics’ system once again highlights just how much power our mobile devices can harness, and in for Jason Koger, presents him with opportunities he would otherwise never have been able to experience.
Below is a video telling of Koger’s story, as told on US news network CNN. At one point, he even shakes the anchor’s hand before picking up a stylus and controlling the accompanying app; truly inspirational stuff: