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
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
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
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.
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.