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A smart wheelchair means you're never disconnected (pictures)

This prototype motorized wheelchair comes equipped with a cellular radio able to tap into AT&T's network.

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Roger_Cheng.jpg

Roger Cheng

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1 of 7 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

The connected wheelchair

Permobil Chief Information Officer Olof Hedin demonstrating the connected wheelchair, which was one of the more notable product demonstrations at the CTIA Wireless trade show. The wheelchair was found in the AT&T booth.

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2 of 7 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

The flagship F5 wheelchair

This is Permobil's flagship product, the F5 wheelchair. While the price ranges depending on the country and specific health plans, the chair is in the ballpark range of $35,000.

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3 of 7 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Adding a cellular radio

This version of the F5 is a prototype for demonstration purposes. The engineers at Permobil met with AT&T in Dallas to discuss getting a cellular radio embedded into the wheelchair to fire off diagnostic information.

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4 of 7 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Powered controls

The F5 wheelchair has  front-wheel drive, air compressors to alter the seat pressure, and a smartphone holder.

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5 of 7 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Data transmission

The wheelchair can relay data such as seat position.

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6 of 7 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Full dashboard control

The wheelchair can fire off data like the condition of the wheelchair to technicians, while sending out different data to clinicians or family members who want to know how the rider is doing.

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7 of 7 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Zipping along

The wheelchair can travel at a top speed of 7.5 miles per hour. That doesn't seem so fast, until you're actually sitting in the wheelchair, like this reporter.

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