NSM to Distribute Independence Drive Technology

National Seating & Mobility (NSM) will nationally distribute Independence Drive, an eye-controlled operating system for power wheelchairs.

In a May 3 news announcement, NSM said it had signed a distribution agreement with Evergreen Circuits, the system’s manufacturer. Independence Drive uses an eye-tracking camera and a tablet computer to create what Evergreen Circuits calls “a virtual joystick which controls the movement of the wheelchair.”

Evergreen Circuits was inspired by an idea from Steve Gleason, a former NFL player who is living with ALS. Gleason wanted to be able to operate his power wheelchair using his eyes.

“Technology is continually changing the game for our clients and the CRT industry as a whole,” said NSM CEO Bill Mixon. “The inventive work by Evergreen Circuits on the Independence Drive system is indicative of the life-altering mobility solutions on the horizon for those we serve.”

Mixon also indicated that NSM’s ATPs have provided “feedback supporting specific-use cases for this technology” to Evergreen Circuits.

“We are pleased to have this ground-breaking product available for our clients nationwide,” Mixon added.

Evergreen Circuits says Independence Drive will become available in a few weeks. Steve Gleason’s non-profit foundation, Team Gleason, “has purchased a number of units to provide through the foundation for those who have a need for the product, but no funding options,” the NSM news announcement said. “NSM will donate the installation and setup for these units as needed.”

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.

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