Executives from Verizon and The Valuable 500 initiative emphasised tech could be crucial to address disability challenges, but highlighted services and products in the 5G era need to be developed with accessibility and inclusion tools as a cornerstone.
In an interview during MWC21 Barcelona, Verizon Consumer Group CEO Ronan Dunne noted a need for companies to harness technology including AR, VR and robotics to ensure it serves societal needs.
“We’re in an environment where in many respects we can address human disability by creating ability through the control of technology and, critically have the technology serve us” rather than “be slaves” to it.
He gave examples with voice commands and eye movement as features which can help with accessing devices.
While concurring with the statement on technology’s capabilities to increase accessibility, CEO and founder of The Valuable 500 Caroline Casey warned inclusion should be architected from the beginning of building 5G products and services rather than being envisioned as an expensive “add-on” by businesses.
Dunne also deemed affordability as key for tackling the problem, adding “the great news is that 5G is bringing down the cost and the innovation barriers in a really dramatic way”.