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Accessible Web Contents Multimodal Adaptive Interfaces
ENABLED logo: Enhanced Network Accessibility for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Wireless Networking Mobile Computing

MOC - Mobile Computing

Traditionally people access the Internet on a desktop computer.

As the development in wireless technology has matured, access to information on the move has become both feasible and cost effective. Mobile phones, PDAs and portable computers have become popular for mobile users and workers.

By combining these technologies, applications and services is possible to enhance blind people's quality of life. Currently, mobile devices are not really accessible to blind people because of their graphics-dominated displays.

Moreover the small display found in most mobile phones can even sometimes be a problem to a sighted people. However, the potential of mobile device and wireless communication is enormous.

Multimodal interfaces can be developed for mobile devices which already have audio capability. Haptic interfaces for mobile devices are still uncommon because of the cost and power issues.

In this project, low-cost and low power consumption haptic interfaces will be developed to present information in abstract form. Context-awareness and adaptable interfaces are currently being actively studied. Weiser already presented the first ideas about ubiquitous computing in his visionary paper ten years ago.

After that, numerous research has been led on topics closely related to context awareness, such as pervasive computing and nomadic computing. One challenge of mobile services today is to exploit the changing environment with a new class of applications that are aware of the context in which they are run.

Such context-aware applications adapts according to the location of use, the nearby people, hosts, and accessible devices and resources, as well as to changes to such things over time but above all should adapt the user profile. This last issue combined with the other capabilities will provide disabled people with new opportunities in their daily lives.

A system with these capabilities can examine the environment, react to changes to this environment and inform the disabled person in an adapted way. Emerging mobile services will improve their accessibility by adapting content and interface for disabled people.

For blind people, the use of mobile solutions will have one of the most beneficial impacts.

Workpackage activities:

The objective of ENABLED is to design and develop an integrated set of solutions to enable partially sighted people to gain a better understanding of their environment.

This will be achieved by designing multi-modal interfaces that will run on mobile devices (for example PDAs). Of paramount importance will be the integration of wireless technologies (GPS, Bluetooth and 802.11) that provide location based information to the user at any time and place.

Applications will be developed to demonstrate and study the added value of location based and wireless technology to the needs of partially sighted people. The design and development will be focused on: "Developing multi-modal interfaces and applications to enable Mobile computing for partially sighted people".

The development of applications for mobile devices will involve a well devised design to ensure scalability and platform independence. These criteria will be core factors due to the diverse nature of the target devices (PDAs, tablet PCs etc.) as each device will have unique display and performance characteristics.


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