XyberKids, from Xybernaut Corp., is a wearable assistive technology solution ideal for students with disabilities, such as autism or cerebral palsy. XyberKids consists of a computing platform, software, and peripherals built into a sturdy backpack with padded, adjustable straps that students can wear in the classroom.

“[We] have already achieved tremendous results by utilizing the XyberKids wearable computers during a six-month test deployment,” said Jeanne Gides, director of special services with Coventry, Ohio, Local School District, one of the first schools to beta-test XyberKids. “We feel strongly that this is empowering our students to … participate in less restrictive environments and gain functional independence more quickly.”

XyberKids reportedly aids students in a variety of tasks, including written expression, conversion of text and pictures into structured speech, supplemental communication through audio output devices, and enhancement of organizational skills. The standard backpack features a 500-megahertz Intel Mobile Celeron processor with 256 megabytes of memory, 5 gigabyte internal hard drive, and Compact Flash, USB, and Firewire peripheral ports.

Students enter and view data using an 8.4-inch, color flat-panel display with an onscreen keyboard and built-in handwriting recognition technology. In addition, XyberKids supports networked or wireless internet access. Prices for the XyberKids solution start at $4,995.

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