Assistive technology can be defined as combination of hardware and software, which are used by people with disabilities to perform tasks such as walking, reading, writing, and others. Assistive technology is a broad term, which includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for the people with disabilities. Assistive technology aids visual impaired people to read printed material or surf the web using assistive technology devices such as screen readers, screen magnifiers, and others.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), old age is one of the main reason that affects vision of the individuals, hence rising geriatric population across the globe is expected to increase demand for assistive technologies devices for visually impaired people, which in turn is expected to drive the market growth over the forecast period. For instance, according to the report published by the United Nation (UN), the global population of age 60 and above was around 962 million in 2017, and is expected to reach 2.1 billion by 2050. Moreover, large number of visual impaired population and untapped market across the globe is also expected to drive demand for assistive technology over the forecast period. For instance, according to October 2019 World Health Organization (WHO) report, globally around 2.2 billion people suffered from vision impairment or blindness of which, only 5-15% of the population had access to assistive devices and technologies in many low-income and middle-income countries.
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Assistive technology device manufacturers are focusing on developing new assistive technologies for visually impaired people. Technology-based companies such as google, apple, and others are focused on developing assistive technologies such as speech to text and voice assistance, which could help people with impaired vision to perform their daily tasks with ease, this is expected to drive demand for assistive technologies over the forecast period. For instance, in October 2019, Google LLC announced about its 2nd generation google assistance with increased speed. This new assistive technology will help visually impaired people to receive information through voice assistance and can aid visually impaired people to reach their destination via google map using google assistance.
Moreover, government of various countries are implementing various initiatives to promote assistive technology and provide assistive technology devices to disabled people across their countries. Government are also focusing to invest in NGO’s, who are developing assistive technology for impaired people. For Instance, in 2018, Government of India announced that the Karnataka State Government initiated country’s first disability-focused technology accelerator, Assistive Technology Accelerator (ATA), in partnership with Samarthanam Trust, a non-profit organization (NGO) working for the disabled people. Moreover Government of India announced to fund US$ 1.5 Million for this initiative. Therefore, this factors are expected to drive global assistive technology for visually impaired market growth over the forecast period.
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Major players operating in the global assistive technologies for visually impaired market include AbleNet, Inc., Access Ingenuity, Adaptivation, Inc., Amedia Corporation, American Thermoform, Cambium Learning, Dolphin Computer Access Ltd., HumanWare Group, LVI Low Vision International, and VFO.
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