Wednesday, January 23, 2013

None of us are getting any younger

Which means that us younger ones have a duty to create the digital future we want for ourselves. As we get older, our faculties inevitably decline. I have already noticed my hearing and my eyesight isn’t as good as it was and I still consider myself young. It’s just a fact of life. No-one else is going to create this future for us, or if they do, we may not like it, so we have to get on with it ourselves. And there hasn’t been a better time to do this. The barriers to entry haven’t been lower, access to technology is easier, we all have smartphones or tablets or both and they’re getting cheaper, and now, organisations like IC Tomorrow is helping fund the prototyping of some new ideas too.

They recently held a call for entries for their Digital Inclusion Innovation Contest in three specific areas – Sensory Assistance, inclusive media and accessible internet of things. The finalists have been chosen and they’ll be presenting at the final to be held on Thursday 7th February in London. Tickets are free and can be booked here. The contest is in collaboration with the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) and the National Licensing Agency (NLA), University of York and Scope

The following companies will be presenting at the event:

Sensory Assistance – using smart phones to assist older people and people with sensory disabilities. Partner: University of York

· Georgie Last 10 Yards by CIC

· Mobile-phone assisted navigation for visually impaired people by Spiral Scratch

· Tribble Doorbell Alerts by Novoda (video entry below)

Inclusive Media – creating a new digital reader and search tool for newspapers and magazines. Partners: RNIB & NLA

· Matopy, the app that makes newspapers and magazines truly interactive by Matopy

· Georgie Bookreader by CIC

· NewsReader by Assistive Solutions

Accessible Internet of Things – enhancing physical home functions for disabled people. Partner: Scope

· The Smart Hub by Therapy Box

· StarInterface by National Star Foundation and College

· Assisted Independent Daily Able Platform (AIDAapps) by BioDigital Health

In addition to the £48,000 of funding the winner in each category receives, each successful participant will also retain their intellectual property and receive:

· Further exposure to a range of leading sector partners

· The opportunity to test their proposed application with leading sector partners

· The opportunity to promote their prototype solution via the IC tomorrow programme

I know I’m a bit biased here as I know some of the companies presenting. I do have my fingers crossed for Georgie and Tribble.

I’m planning to go to the event. It’s free to attend but there will be limited places so if you want to come, you’d better get your ticket booked.

Oh, and if you can find the video entries from any of the companies listed above, please add it in the comments. Thanks!

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