Aims to make mobile devices more accessible for elderly, illiterate and semi-literate
IBM said that it is working with the National Institute of Design (NID) of India and Research Centre for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo (RCAST) on a new collaborative research initiative to explore an open, common user interface platform for mobile devices, to make them easier for the elderly, illiterate and semi-literate.
The collaborative research aims to make internet accessible to all people, including those who are illiterate, blind, deaf, or elderly; and help them engage with information through mobile devices.
IBM said that the new software will be made available as open source, and other materials developed will be made publicly available, in order to allow governments and businesses around the world to take advantage of the technology.
IBM said that along with RCAST, it will work directly with the elderly in Japan to investigate and determine real-life requirements of elderly people when using mobile devices.
The new research partnership is part of the IBM’s open collaborative research program, an initiative to foster innovation through university-industry research collaboration.
Chieko Asakawa, chief technology officer of accessibility research at IBM, said: Through this collaborative research initiative, we will uncover real information accessibility requirements and issues that the elderly and people in developing economies are facing today.
“By focusing on mobile devices, which have a tremendous potential to empower them, we believe the findings will help us offer affordable services to a large population, who are still deprived of access to key information sources.