SAA 2012 Winners
The winners of the Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards were announced at a ceremony attended by Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship.
The winning smartphone apps whose developers shared the €200,000 prize fund were:
- Ablah (Wellbeing category): Ablah is an augmentative communication application. Using images, text and sounds, the user can communicate with others by making the device speak for them. The program is customisable to suit the needs of each user. The Ablah system is based on the exchange of images, sounds and text via the touch screen devices. The backlit display has been found to be particularly successful with autistic children, and the ease of use of the application makes Ablah an essential tool for therapies and learning. Among other things, Ablah users can create sentences and simply ask for their primary needs to be met.
- Jaccede (Mobility category): The app enables users to search for places that are accessible to those with a disability. Information, such as whether the entrance is step-free and accessibility of toilets, is displayed alongside photos, user comments and other relevant information. Users can contribute by adding accessible places anywhere in the world, or by editing existing listings. Download from Google Play
- Happen (Independent living category): This app allows users to search for information on a range of different topics, including daily news, weather and sports scores. The information is presented in a format adapted to each user's needs, either visually, motor-based or by supporting spoken feedback. This application is aimed at the elderly and visually impaired. Download from Google Play
- Starting Blocks (Social participation category): The app is aimed at people new to mobile technology, particularly the elderly. Starting Blocks teaches the skills necessary for using their Android device, including coping with the unfamiliarity of using a touchscreen device. Download from Google Play
The 12 finalists are:
Ideal Group Reader is an eBook reader for people with visual, physical, perceptual, developmental, cognitive, or learning disabilities. Features include: dyslexia settings; enhanced navigation including jumping to specific chapters, pages, and passages; text-to-speech (TTS) support; highlighting text as it is read; ability to take and gather notes using speech recognition or typing.
Happen is an application that allows its users to get information on a range of different topics, including daily news, weather, sports scores or stock quotes. The information is easily collated, and doesn’t require any technical skills. It is presented in a format adapted to each user's needs, either visually (with big texts and buttons and customizable colour themes), motor based (with different navigation modes) or supporting complete spoken feedback. This application provides a versatile and useful tool suitable for elderly and visually impaired people.
Hearing Aid is a cochlear implant application developed in cooperation with Prague Technical University. The application amplifies human speech, while filtering out background noise. The user simply connects their earphones, drags the only slider, and is able to clearly hear again.
AOD is an application for visually impaired people. It detects obstacles that could not be detected by a walking stick or guide dog, for example low-hanging tree branches. For the application to work, a 3D smartphone (equipped with two front cameras) takes the images from both cameras and extracts the 3D information of the environment in real time. This information is processed to allow the obstacle detection.
iNearest (Important and Nearest) is an application which calculates distance and direction to a number of local points of interest. The application is designed according to the principles of universal design, making it useful for all users, regardless of their physical limitations or experience in the use of new technologies. The interface features include large and descriptive interaction elements, a high contrast mode, expandable text-size, and screen reader support (including specific instructions for Talkback).
The Jaccede application enables users to search and find places that are accessible to people with a disability. Useful information, such as whether the entrance is step-free, whether toilets are accessible, etc is displayed alongside photos, user comments and other relevant information. Users can contribute by adding accessible places they come across anywhere in the world, or editing existing listings to improve the accuracy of the information. The app currently gives users access to more than 24,000 accessible places in more than 20 countries.
Mobile Accessibility allows blind people or with low vision to use an Android device easily. Includes a collection of 10 accessible apps (phone, contacts, SMS, alarm, calendar, email, web, where am I, aplications and settings) that have been specially designed for visually impaired. All of them have a friendly interface that allows the text information shown to be read by a voice synthesizer as Vocalizer Nuance or by a connected Braille device.
Starting Blocks is for people who are completely new to the world of mobile technology, particularly the elderly. Using a touchscreen device for the first time can be a daunting experience - tasks such as tapping, swiping and scrolling, and even unlocking the device can present challenges, and often no guidance or instructions are provided. Starting Blocks allows users to learn about, and more importantly, safely practice the key skills that they will need to use their Android device. In a nutshell, it provides them with the “starting blocks” that they will need to progress on their mobile journey.
Speech Assistant is an app designed for people who have difficulty speaking, but are able to read. This may be in the case of aphasia, after a stroke, in case of vocal cord problems or other speech problems. The app can also be a tool to practice speech during rehabilitation. An important advantage of the app is the ability to fully customise to the individual needs of the user. This includes not only the set of words, but also the appearance of the app.
112 for Deaf has been designed to help people with hearing and speech impairments to make contact with the emergency services, or ‘112’. The application allows the user to easily report an emergency without having to make a call voice. They will also be able to send additional information about the emergency such as personal details, photos, videos or their location. Furthermore the application will guide them as to what to do in the emergency situation.
Fontrillo is an emergency assistance application. The app includes: emergency call with geo-location features; an SOS button which triggers the call a customisable emergency contact number along with an SMS giving the phone’s current location; remote localization which allows trusted contacts to request the phone’s location details via SMS. For people with visual impairments, Fontrillo provides easy to read text which can also be read aloud with the Text-To-Speech functionality. Fontrillo is the mobile safety-net, designed for people who aren’t completely at ease with mobile technology,l including senior citizens, children, visually impaired people.
Ablah is an augmentative communication application. Using images, text and sounds, the user can communicate with others by making the device speak for them. The program is customisable to suit the needs of each user. The Ablah system is based on the exchange of images, sounds and text via the touch screen devices. The backlit display has been found to be particularly successful with autistic children, and the ease of use of the application makes Ablah an essential tool for therapies and learning. Among other things, Ablah users can create sentences and simply ask for their primary needs to be met.
- Entry Phase: 30th May ~ 15th October 2012
- All entries must be received by 12:00 GMT on the closing date of 15th October 2012.
- Round 1 Judging: 16th October ~ 15th November 2012
- Final Judging Round (Location - Brussels): 17th December 2012.
- 4 winners: €50,000 each
- 1 winner
per category (4)
- Social participation
- Independent living