IBM supports research to make mobile devices more accessible

Thursday, 11 March 2010 09:59am

IBM, in collaboration with India's National Institute of Design and the University of Tokyo's Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, is commencing a research project to make mainstream gadgets and mobile devices more accessible to people with disabilities.

The aim of the project is to provide a freely available interface which can be adapted by manufacturers to a variety of consumer gadgets and mobile devices, resulting in better access to mainstream products and lower product cost for people with disabilities. It also has the potential to make people with disabilities less dependent on the purchase of alternative specialist devices for popular mainstream products.

The project also provides support to government and industry in the US, which requires that products sold to the US Federal government must adhere to certain accessibility criteria. The creation of an accessible interface would assist industry in creating appropriate products to sell to government, and assist government in selecting products that have already been identified as accessible. The interface software is being developed as open source, meaning that the world’s developer community will also be able to assist in its creation.

Further information on the IBM-sponsored research can be found on the CNET news website.  Further information on currently available accessible mobile devices can be found in the digital technology section of this website.


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