Pokemon Go – The Wheelchair Test

Pokemon Go. Has there ever been a more successful launch for any game, ever? I don’t think so.

You only have to look at the look at the surge in Nintendo’s share price – Go added roughly $7.2 billion to the company’s value in the past week. That dipped a little yesterday but Nintendo’s value is still more than 60% up!

These are crazy times that we live in. So in case you have been living under a rock, lost at sea or in a coma, and you have no idea what I’m talking about here is a quick recap.

Pokemon Go is augmented reality app for your smartphone that allows you to become real life Pokemon Master. Using the phone’s camera and some clever code from the people at Niantic – users hunt for Pokemon at real life locations all over the world.

Pokemon Go features all the same elements that made you love the Pokemon games of old. You can capture, train and battle with all the Pokemon that you collect. However there is a catch. As with Niantic last great effort – Ingress – Pokemon Go is a location based game. One that actually requires to be at the location. So you’d naturally think that it would be a challenge for any wheelchair user. Particularly as on the face of it, it looks like you have to interact with your phone on the move.

But never one to shrink from a challenge – I was Pokemon Going all last week. Heres my thoughts.

Location, Location, Location

Pokemon Go - The Wheelchair Test

Now the first thing to note about how Niantic work is – in well developed areas there are always lots of hotspots or in Go speak – Pokestops. Pokestops are places where you have a great chance to snare a rare Pokemon or two. So while many people spend a lot time looking in random places for Pokemon, as a wheelchair user, I don’t bother. When your in built up areas like town centres or shopping blocks, switch Go and get hunting. I tried Go around Leeds city centre and it worked a treat because I really didn’t have to go very far to find a Pokemon. On the flip side – I went hunting on the field at the back of my house and that wasn’t so cool.

Catching Pokemon

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Now one thing that did concern me about Pokemon Go was whether I could actually catch any Pokemon. I had visions of me trying to wheel, phone in hand, chasing the little buggers down the street!

That isn’t the case in built up areas. In fact, I’ve found that the best thing to do is find a Pokemon and get as close as possible. Then apply the brakes and fire a Pokeball off. I found firing a Pokeball to be tricky at first with my spazzy fingers but like most other smartphone finger movements – it just takes practice.

If you really want to off road in your Pokemon quest – I’d recommend checking out our hand cycle attachments or this off road kit.

 

 

 

My DayBag is my daily box of tricks that hacks life and makes it a little more accessible! So I thought that I’d write a post and tell you what’s in it.

Choosing A DayBag

First of all, choosing the DayBag itself is important. If you a wheelchair user or a wobbly, you want something that is light and ideally with a rigid frame inside it. DayBags with rigid frames on the inside are really useful for keeping important items separate from each other. If you are a wheelchair user, your DayBag choice should consider how long the tassels are! Tassels are the bane of my existence because if they are too long, they can often get stuck in the wheels! Read our review of the Booq DayPack here.

Med Management

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Medication management is something that many of us have to deal with and lets face it, taking different meds at different times of the day can be a real pain! Fear not! The good people at Sabi have you covered. They have a range of different options that will not only keep your meds organised but also secure in your DayBag.

Useful Tools For Your DayBag

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Nimble is the one finger package opener that did really well in the Inclusive Technology Prize last year. We did a review (read it here) for last year. Its a great little thing to have on the go because you will never struggle with those pesky sandwich containers again!

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Lets face it – we’re a nation of coffee drinkers. Though if you have poor coordination, use a wheelchair or any kind of mobility aid – carrying said coffee can be a challenge. However you can often get around this by carrying your own cup in your DayBag. No barista will ever mind filling your own cup for you. I like to make sure that any flask has nice secure lid and handle. A secure lid means that does not matter which way up the flask is you’re not going to get any spillages.

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If you are a wheelchair user, keeping a mini allen key tool in your DayBag is a good idea. You can pick them up quite cheaply from places like Amazon and Argos.  They are really useful for just tightening, turning and doing a little maintenance on the move.

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Now a days, headphones for me are becoming far more than just a tool to listen to music with. If you are out and about in a wheelchair or using another mobility aid, headphones can be the only way to interact with your smartphone. From taking a call to interacting with an app, headphones are important so choose wisely.

Spare Clothing

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For some people, food and drink spillage are inevitable (myself included) so having something like Care Designs‘s Neckerchief in your DayBag. They’re machine washable and easy to stash away if need be.

Keeping Clean

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If you push yourself around, chances are your hands are going to be quite dirty. You can wear gloves but if you are like me, gloves reduce your grip. Keeping a little hand wash on you at all times is a good idea.

Those are just some of the things that you might think about carrying in your DayBag but everyone is different and I’d love to hear about some of the little things that really help you!