Just as Liu envisioned, “you don’t have to personally carry anything” for the system to work, said Song, who helped build the current prototype.

Only healthy young adults have tested the prototype so far, but the researchers plan to conduct further tests with mobility-impaired users after refining their system. They also hope to eventually commercialize the product for in-home use. “That’s an ambitious goal,” said Song, “because there are so many steps to take in between. But if it does happen, I’ll be very happy because it’s a simple, practical, energy-efficient technology that will make an impact [on] society.”

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