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Stephen Hawking asks devs to help Intel build a connected wheelchair

Sean Buckley, @seaniccus
September 9, 2014
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Why should developers be interested in developing on Intel's Galileo and Edison development boards? Because one of the smartest men on the planet thinks you should. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich paused the Intel Developer Forum 2014 keynote for a brief, encouraging message from renowned theoretical astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who introduced himself as "the guy who made black holes cool." His topic of choice wasn't space oddities, however -- but about how technology can be a life-changing force for the disabled. "Medicine can't cure me," Hawking said, "so I rely on technology. It lets me interface with the world. It propels me. It's how I'm speaking to you now."

Hawking focused on the importance of Intel's Connected Wheelchair Program, and how technologies like Galileo and Edison can be used to improve the quality of life for people dependent on technology. "A wheelchair user can now monitor important information about their health, the status of their wheelchair and the accessibility of the places they visit." Hawking said. "Significantly improving their day-to-day life."

Hawking concluded his brief cameo on an optimistic note -- both about how science and technology can help the disabled and words of encouragement for the developers listening. "I challenge you all here to excel to bring about the changes you want in the world," he said. "Keep pushing and never give up." Check out his full speech for yourself in the video below.

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