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Staybl app makes it easier for people with hand tremors to browse the web

For people with Parkinson's and others who suffer from hand tremors, using a smart device can be highly challenging — involuntary shaking makes it tough to read and navigate on touchscreens.

Using a tablet's built-in accelerometers, a new browser called Staybl can compensate for tremors by creating virtual countermovements. Users can choose from different presets for varying tremor strengths, and the app provides large buttons with plenty of surrounding white space for more accessible and more accurate tapping. The browser includes standard features like bookmarks, history and tabs, allowing for regular web browsing. Larger typography and other visual elements increase readability.

Staybl, which is free to use, was developed as a pro bono project by Havas Germany and Havas New York, working with experts at the German Parkinson's Association and patients in Germany and the US. Because it requires a screen refresh rate of 120hz, the app is currently only available for iPads, but Staybl's developers are working to bring it to other devices in the future.

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Parkinson's Disease alone impacts 10 million adults globally, and 70% of those diagnosed experience tremors. As often happens when designing for accessibility, an app like Staybl could benefit many other web users, too, especially if it evolves from being a special add-on to a default option on every device.

Dan Lucey, Chief Creative Officer at Havas New York, stated: "Our hope is that Staybl will be a catalyst for change and its accessibility features will be native to the smart devices we use every single day."

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