On 28 April 2010, VERITAS participated in the VUMS project cluster event in Stuttgart, Germany. Other participants included the VICON, MyUI and GUIDE project. The participants (coordinators) agreed on collaborations between the projects, and on future joint efforts. All projects work on improving the accessibility of various products and application areas, taking into account various impairments.
Below is an overview of the other participating projects.
The GUIDE project aims to fulfill the individual accessibility needs of elderly users with mild impairments through the provision of a development toolbox for personalized, adaptive multimodal user interfaces. This GUIDE toolbox will especially put developers of TV set-top box applications in the position to realize applications with accessibility features tailored to the specific needs of impaired users with reduced development risk and costs. GUIDE will further target the set-top box as an application platform for different scenarios reflecting the needs of the users for assisted living, social inclusion and continuing education. These applications will act as proofs of concept for the GUIDE toolbox and include services for home automation, video conferencing, media content access as well as tele-learning. The adaptation of the multimodal interface components to the individual requirements of the users will be based on a user centered design approach taking into account the results of several end-user studies as basis for a generic virtual user model.
MyUI will foster the mainstreaming of accessible and highly individualized ICT products – a major issue for e-Inclusion. The project addresses important barriers which include developers’ lack of awareness and expertise, time and cost requirements of incorporating accessibility and missing validated approaches and infrastructures. The project’s approach goes beyond the notion of Universal Design by addressing specific user needs through adaptive personalized interfaces. An ontology-based context management infrastructure will collect user and context information in real-time during use. Sharing the collected information across several personal applications will increase efficiency and validity. The user interface will self-adapt to the evolving individualuser model, in order to fit the user’s special needs and preferences. The MyUI adaptation engine will rely on empirically based design patterns for specified user and context characteristics. MyUI technologies will be implemented in three selected ’use cases’ to demonstrate their benefit and feasibility in industrial development contexts:
- Interactive TV device
- Interactive digital physiotherapy service
- Interactive socialisation service
VERITAS aims to develop, validate and assess tools for built-in accessibility support at all stages of ICT and non-ICT product development, including specification, design, development and testing. The goal is to introduce simulationbased and virtual reality testing at all stages of assistive technologies product design and development into the automotive, smart living spaces (buildings & construction, domotics), workplace, ehealth and infotainment applications areas. The goal is to ensure that future products and services are being systematically designed for all people including those with disabilities and functional limitations as well as older people. Furthermore, VERITAS plans to promote its results to the appropriate standards organisations for consideration and potential adoption and also to make them available through an open framework.
The challenge of VICON comprises three “How-To” questions:
- How can consumer-oriented companies adapt their existing product portfolios to the needs of sensory and physically impaired users in a competitive and sustainable manner?
- How can companies in Europe gain a competitive advantage from adopting inclusive design, related to markets characterized by cheap products from Far East?
- How can product developers be empowered during product development to consider the real-time accessibility needs of physically impaired users, with the aim of securing universal access to future consumer products?