I have now used the Tecla Shield DOS by Komodo OpenLab for almost 2 months starting back in December 2014. You first heard about the device from our friend Neil, who was using an older version at the time and also from our Holiday Gift Guide. So what is Tecla?
“Tecla brings smart device access to all. It connects people with limited physical mobility to technology. Tecla allows interaction with iOS and Android devices via the speciality switches or wheelchair driving controls that are already used.”
We first met with one of the founders Mauricio Meza for a free consultation who was kind enough to tell us more about the Tecla. We were given a three-week trial to test the device along with the Tecla DOS Mount ($99) and the Phone Mount ($99), which we decided to purchase.
It has absolutely changed my life being able to independently control my Apple iPhone 4S with a switch on my wheelchair. I am now able to send messages, make phone calls, and also control the Nest Thermostat in the house through an app. The Tecla needs to be charged using a USB cable, which can last up to a week. There are a few disadvantages such as it takes forever to type a message having to scan through every letter in the keyboard, and the iPhone batteries drain quickly, those are just minor hurdles that can be resolved.
Adding to that I am also using a Logitech Harmony Hub which is connected to my Westinghouse TV, Bell PVR, and Logitech speakers which allow me to control these devices through the mobile app as well. I am now able to turn on my TV, change channels, and watch recorded shows on my PVR without relying on someone else.
The cost of the Tecla Shield DOS is $349 USD.
UPDATE 2016: Tecla and Bell announced a partnership to offer Bell customers a Tecla Kit for $200 which includes the Tecla Shield and Tecla Mount. Find out more here.
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