Buttons or plates (like the one above) that automatically open doors can do a lot to make a building more accessible, but they aren’t always a perfect solution. For wheelchair users with limited upper body movement, the buttons can be tough to hit. Other times, the button is installed poorly — too high, too low, or just too far from the door to be useful, with the door closing too fast.
Portal Entryways is a startup trying to make these existing buttons more useful. They’ve built a device that piggybacks on top of existing access buttons, allowing these doors to be opened automatically (and, importantly, kept open) when a wheelchair user approaches.
Portal’s product has two components: a piece of Bluetooth Low Energy-enabled hardware that