Sometimes "smart" things seem trivial. Connected toothbrushes and crockpots are nifty, but do you really need them?
It's a 2014 Corvette Stingray, outfitted with an assortment of sensors, cameras and other technology that makes it possible for Sam Schmidt, a former Indy Car driver left a quadriplegic following a 2000 crash, to drive with his head.
And he drives fast -- 107 miles per hour. To control the car, Schmidt wears a sensor-laden hat and moves his head accordingly: Tilt back to accelerate, tip to either side to turn, bite down on a sensor to brake. A GPS guidance system watches to make sure the car stays within in the track. (You can get more details about Schmidt and the car's Indianapolis outing in this Associated Press story.)
"I'm living proof that technology can help people like me not just sit at home," Schmidt said during a keynote address at Thursday's event.
Driving the car, Schmidt said, was the first time in the 14 years since his accident that he felt "this sense of being normal."
He has continued to work with Arrow Electronics on refining the car, recently testing it in the rain on a track in Germany. Colorado-based Arrow, which also has an office in Eden Prairie, provides electronics products and computing systems for businesses.
Schmidt, who got choked up talking about how his daughter struggled to find meaning in his accident, said, "The hope that this project has created for a lot of people is not measurable."