The Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards 2012 are hosting a €200k prize fund competition. It is calling on developers across Europe to design smartphone applications and services which consider the needs older people and people with disabilities.
In support of the competition, Vodafone, Mobile Monday Dublin, in conjunction with NDRC Inventorium have partnered with the NCBI Centre for Inclusive Technology and the Irish Internet Association (IIA) to run a two-day workshop to stimulate the generation of smartphone app ideas to submit to the competition for a share of €200k worth of prize money.
The two-day workshop (on 21-22 August) will explore the challenges, problems and commercial opportunities that exist for developers and entrepreneurs when building smartphone applications that consider the needs of this significant demographic.
The competition will award the best smartphone application in four areas:
- Social participation: refers to applications which help users to become more involved in today’s society and help them benefit from using new technologies, whatever their age and/or capacity. The aim is to help everyone to access the web and social media through smartphones.
- Independent living: refers to applications which help users with everyday tasks such as washing or opening a door easily and safely so that they can live more independently.
- Mobility: refers to applications that enable users to travel freely and safely whatever kind of transport system they would like to use. It also refers to the use of GPS and locations apps that can help guide people in unfamiliar places.
- Wellbeing: refers to applications that improve the users’ health and overall feeling of wellbeing.
Entrants will compete for a share of the €200k prize fund from 30 May 2012 to 15 October 2012. Finalists will present their application to the jury in a final event that will take place in December in Spain.
Workshop Agenda - To participate in the free workshop, please do register on EventBrite.
Schedule for TUESDAY 21 AUGUST:
User perspective and personal experience
This session gives you the opportunity to fully understand the challenges faced by users with disability.
Technical demonstration of tools and applications
See real life examples of mobile solutions that improve the accessibility of mobile devices. Assistive technologies such as screen readers or alternate text entry systems, accessible applications that have been developed with the design for all paradigm or mobile simulators will be presented. This will be an interactive session that will allow you to test these applications with several mobile devices and see how these technologies improve the quality of life with users with disabilities.
Simulation of disabilities and videos of user testing
Feel what it’s like to experience a disability through a simulation / video of user testing. Also get a chance to discuss how daily life with impairment changes your design and testing practices.
Concept Development Workshop
We start with a period of ideas expansion – we grow the realm of possibilities. A suite of activities starts with a problem identification phase. We use structured techniques to get a wide range of potential solutions to problems and related problems. We test the problem out to see if it is amenable to creative solutions by applying tools, systems and techniques. People undertake this work in teams of 4 to 6 people.
Each team then choose their best 1 or 2 ideas and prepare a visualisation and a short (5min) presentation of their work in progress. At this point there is an opportunity to get behind specific ideas – some ideas may need to combine. Maybe someone not in the team has specialist knowledge that can advance the idea. Teams regroup. Some ideas die for lack of further interest.
Schedule for WEDNESDAY 22 AUGUST 2012:
Commercial Development Workshop
In the next phase a single idea is developed by each (new) team. We look for viability, feasibility and desirability. We might morph ideas incrementally to see if seeing them in a new light can improve them. We expect the teams to begin to refine an idea in a form that they can communicate key issues to others – which they then have to do.
Market demand, customer identification and routes to market are explored. Differing product pricing and revenue strategies are examined and following a further session of third party feedback, teams refine their final proposition to present to the audience. All of this happens at a break-neck pace. Ideas are created, expanded, refined or culled, evaluated and summarised.
Day 2 culminates in a pitching session to a panel of expert judges to provide concise and pertinent feedback on each idea. Next steps are explored in the context of further supports available from Inventorium and the process and timelines for submitting entries to the Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards 2012.
NDRC is an early stage investor in high impact ventures based on research outputs. NDRC Inventorium provides methods and processes for building collaborations, generating ideas, and turning these ideas into business propositions. NDRC Inventorium works with researchers, startups, existing businesses, social enterprises, and individuals who want to make innovative ideas into profitable ones. NDRC Inventorium is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland-Wales Programme (INTERREG 4A).