Improve ability of those with dexterity, physical and visual disability to type on small, mobile devices
Approximately 3% of Singaporeans are living with a disability. Unfortunately, lack of understanding and engagement from the wider community often act as a barrier to enable them work, play, shop, and to be part of the community, making a contribution to their families and the society. Enabling Community coLAB was a 2 day social innovation hackathon organised by the Ministry of Social and Family Development(MSF) and SG Enable, with UP Singapore serving as the Social Innovation partner.
The proposed solutions should address the challenge of empowering people with disabilities as consumers, employees and/or entrepreneurs.
- Empowering people with disabilities as consumers: How might we use technology to enable more accessible shopping and recreation experiences and make them more spontaneous? to facilitate more independent decision-making? to make it easier for people to better understand and interact with persons who have difficulties expressing themselves?
- Empowering people with disabilities as employees: How might we use technology and data in monitoring well-being and work productivity at the workplace including remote supervision? How can we rethink and enhance information accessibility, communication and collaboration for employees with disabilities and their colleagues? How might we bring together persons with disabilities, co-workers, families and customers as circles of natural support for working persons with disabilities?
- Empowering people with disabilities as entrepreneurs: How can technology facilitate low-cost businesses and start-ups to support self-employment or entrepreneurship as an option for persons with disabilities? How can we improve perception of and communication with customers and business clients for entrepreneurs with disabilities? How do we encourage and help aspiring entrepreneurs or self-employed individuals become sustainable?
Our inspiration comes from the awareness that people with disabilities are increasingly relying on their mobile for communication, working and entertainment. Despite significant improvement in making mobile technology accessible, we observed their difficulty and frustation to get through some of the basic actions, including typing to communicate their thoughts and ideas. In order to empower them, we would like to improve typing user experience on small devices for those with visual, dexterity and physical disabilities. Our solution provides bigger interaction area which minimize gesture movement accuracy and precision needed to type. We also provides audio feedback and word recommendation to improve their typing efficiency.
We are encouraged with support and feedback given by mentors from SGEnable, Social Enterprise Singapore, as well as Singapore Society of Physically Disabled. Our idea was shortlisted as the Top 10 finalists and received Seed award to further refine and validate our proposed solution. From basic concept prototype, we further develop our idea into real mobile application and participated in Singapore StartupAsia Hackathon event. Our application won both StarHub Assistive Technology challenge and received 2nd prize. The judges who made the call were
- Zach Tan - IIPL investment manager
- Goh Yiping - All Deals Asia co-founder
- Thomas Gorissen - Jungle Ventures’ operating partner
We were also featured as one of the project launched under StarHub “Crowdtivate” initiative. Our first release has been published in Google App Store.