The Switch-It Vigo is a fully wireless Bluetooth headset that allows operation of a power wheelchair using small head movements. Plus, it has an integrated microphone for interacting with Bluetooth devices. Let's review setup considerations for success. Also, check out the range of setup videos from the manufacturer, NowTechnologies.
Which power wheelchair controller systems is Vigo compatible with?
The Vigo is fully compatible with the Sunrise Medical power wheelchair range, in addition to working with most modern power wheelchair control systems. The Vigo requires the same electronics setup as any other special input device such as a head array or switched drive controls. For example:
- Curtiss-Wright R-NET control with an OMNI 2 input module. This is the primary option for Sunrise Medical's QUICKIE & Magic Mobility power wheelchairs and Permobil. The screen allows the wheelchair rider to operate not only driving functions of the wheelchair, but all chair modes and external devices (such as infrared environmental controls and Bluetooth-enabled mobile technology). As this is the most popular option, components discussed below focus on R-NET setup.
- Dynamix Linx system via the DLX-IN500 input module. Linx control systems are an option on many Sunrise Medical chairs in Europe.
- Quantum Rehab's Q-Logic 3 EX Enhanced Display or SCIM Module.
Components for wheelchair operation
The Vigo headset positions gyroscope sensors close to the head to interpret head movements for wheelchair control. In order to keep the headset itself extremely light and low profile, an external gyro link module attaches to the OMNI 2 control box, stored within the zippered case on the back of Sunrise Medical power wheelchairs. Signals from the headset travel to the external gyro link module, mounted neatly on top of the OMNI 2 display screen. The gyro link then communicates with the Cubo Bluetooth receiver module. Here, the inputs are translated into joystick signals which the wheelchair's controller system can use for all wheelchair functions.
Powering on: headrest sensor or alternative switch
The Vigo needs an external switch to power on and off, as well as activate the Bluetooth link and recalibrate for each use. The Vigo kit includes a "Headrest Sensor" force switch option that plugs into the Cubo. This can be attached to the front of the head support pad via a neoprene hook-and-loop cover, or in some cases inserted inside the headrest just under the cover. Alternatively, any switch compatible with a 3.5mm jack, such as a buddy button, could be used. Finally, the silver multifunction button on the headset Vigo sensor can be pressed for five seconds to power on.