Threads Futures

Interview with Suranga Nanayakkara


Having spent the majority of his life researching and inventing new technologies that enable more access, Suranga Nanayakkara shares his insight on projects he has been working on which ultimately provide more accessibility to devices such as the smartphone. Although people think the smartphone is accessible, for someone with disability, it can be quite the opposite. 

Suranga Nanayakkara is an Associate Professor at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, the University of Auckland. Nanayakkara’s work is most important to the people whose lives it most directly impacts—those who face challenges to function in the world due to sensory deficits in hearing or vision. For his work he has received many awards including ‘Young Inventor under 35’ (TR35 award) in the Asia Pacific region by MIT TechReview, ‘Outstanding Young Persons of Sri Lanka’ (TOYP), and the INK Fellowship (2016).