Vodafone Smart Accessibility Awards 2012 Finalists Announced

IDEAL Group Reader Selected as a Finalist

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Apps4Android, Inc.
Media Relations
media-relations@apps4android.org

Hilliard, OH (BUSINESS WIRE) – December 10, 2012 – Steve Jacobs, President, IDEAL Group and CEO Apps4Android today announced that IDEAL Group Reader was selected as a finalist in Vodafone’s Smart Accessibility Awards 2012 competition.

IDEAL Group Reader is a fully-accessible epub3 eBook reader that was designed for all to use. According to Jacobs, “We were humbled that IDEAL Group Reader was chosen as a finalist in Vodafone’s prestigious competition and look forward to presenting to the judges in Brussels on December 17.”

The Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards is a contest to promote the development of IT applications designed to improve the lives of those with disabilities and people that are older, to help them get more actively involved in society.

In 2012 we celebrate the II Edition after the great results of last year competition. This year we received 85 apps and the Round 1 Judges have selected the 12 finalists.

Finalists will present their application to the jury in a final event that will take place 17 December 2012 in Brussels. The Final Jury will select four winners, one per category, that will share a 200K€ prize fund. The categories and finalists are as follows:

Category 1: Independent Living:

IDEAL Group Reader by Apps4Android.
Ideal Group Reader is an eBook reader for people with visual, physical, perceptual, developmental, cognitive, or learning disabilities. Features include: dyslexia settings; enhanced navigation including jumping to specific chapters, pages, and passages; text-to-speech (TTS) support; highlighting text as it is read; ability to take and gather notes using speech recognition or typing.

Happen by Airsign Technologies.
Happen is an application that allows its users to get information on a range of different topics, including daily news, weather, sports scores or stock quotes. The information is easily collated, and doesn’t require any technical skills. It is presented in a format adapted to each user’s needs, either visually (with big texts and buttons and customizable colour themes), motor based (with different navigation modes) or supporting complete spoken feedback. This application provides a versatile and useful tool suitable for elderly and visually impaired people.

Hearing Aid by Quanti s.r.o.
Hearing Aid is a cochlear implant application developed in cooperation with Prague Technical University. The application amplifies human speech, while filtering out background noise. The user simply connects their earphones, drags the only slider, and is able to clearly hear again.

Category 2: Mobility:

Aerial Obstacle Detection by Mobile Vision Research Lab (Univ. of Alicante) and Neosistec.
AOD is an application for visually impaired people. It detects obstacles that could not be detected by a walking stick or guide dog, for example low-hanging tree branches. For the application to work, a 3D smartphone (equipped with two front cameras) takes the images from both cameras and extracts the 3D information of the environment in real time. This information is processed to allow the obstacle detection.

iNearest by INTECO S.A.
iNearest (Important and Nearest) is an application which calculates distance and direction to a number of local points of interest. The application is designed according to the principles of universal design, making it useful for all users, regardless of their physical limitations or experience in the use of new technologies. The interface features include large and descriptive interaction elements, a high contrast mode, expandable text-size, and screen reader support (including specific instructions for Talkback).

Jaccede by jaccede.com
The Jaccede application enables users to search and find places that are accessible to people with a disability. Useful information, such as whether the entrance is step-free, whether toilets are accessible, etc is displayed alongside photos, user comments and other relevant information. Users can contribute by adding accessible places they come across anywhere in the world, or editing existing listings to improve the accuracy of the information. The app currently gives users access to more than 24,000 accessible places in more than 20 countries.

Category 3: Social Participation:

Mobile Accessibility with Braille support by Code Factory
Mobile Accessibility allows blind people or with low vision to use an Android device easily. Includes a collection of 10 accessible apps (phone, contacts, SMS, alarm, calendar, email, web, where am I, aplications and settings) that have been specially designed for visually impaired. All of them have a friendly interface that allows the text information shown to be read by a voice synthesizer as Vocalizer Nuance or by a connected Braille device.

Starting Blocks by Gemixin
Starting Blocks is for people who are completely new to the world of mobile technology, particularly the elderly. Using a touchscreen device for the first time can be a daunting experience – tasks such as tapping, swiping and scrolling, and even unlocking the device can present challenges, and often no guidance or instructions are provided. Starting Blocks allows users to learn about, and more importantly, safely practice the key skills that they will need to use their Android device. In a nutshell, it provides them with the “starting blocks” that they will need to progress on their mobile journey.

Speech Assistant by A-Soft
Speech Assistant is an app designed for people who have difficulty speaking, but are able to read. This may be in the case of aphasia, after a stroke, in case of vocal cord problems or other speech problems. The app can also be a tool to practice speech during rehabilitation. An important advantage of the app is the ability to fully customise to the individual needs of the user. This includes not only the set of words, but also the appearance of the app.

Category 4: Wellbeing

112 for Deaf by Pablo Miguel
112 for Deaf has been designed to help people with hearing and speech impairments to make contact with the emergency services, or ‘112’. The application allows the user to easily report an emergency without having to make a call voice. They will also be able to send additional information about the emergency such as personal details, photos, videos or their location. Furthermore the application will guide them as to what to do in the emergency situation.

Fontrillo by Marco Forlin
Fontrillo is an emergency assistance application. The app includes: emergency call with geo-location features; an SOS button which triggers the call a customisable emergency contact number along with an SMS giving the phone’s current location; remote localization which allows trusted contacts to request the phone’s location details via SMS. For people with visual impairments, Fontrillo provides easy to read text which can also be read aloud with the Text-To-Speech functionality. Fontrillo is the mobile safety-net, designed for people who aren’t completely at ease with mobile technology,l including senior citizens, children, visually impaired people.

Ablah by Ablah
Ablah is an augmentative communication application. Using images, text and sounds, the user can communicate with others by making the device speak for them. The program is customisable to suit the needs of each user. The Ablah system is based on the exchange of images, sounds and text via the touch screen devices. The backlit display has been found to be particularly successful with autistic children, and the ease of use of the application makes Ablah an essential tool for therapies and learning. Among other things, Ablah users can create sentences and simply ask for their primary needs to be met.

About The Vodafone Foundation

Mobilising the community, mobilising social change:

At the heart of our foundation is the belief that our mobile communications technologies can address some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges and our responsibility is to utilise our innovative mobile technology in mobilising social change and improving people’s lives.

To achieve this objective the Vodafone Foundation invests in the communities in which Vodafone operates and is at the centre of a network of Vodafone’s global and local social investment programmes.

Globally, our Foundation makes social investments by funding projects which support disaster relief and preparedness including our Red Alert Programme, through projects which use mobile technology for the benefit of all, and via our unique World of Difference programme.

In countries in which Vodafone operates, our social investment is delivered by a unique footprint of 26 Vodafone Foundations and social investment programmes. These programmes are directed and chosen by the Foundation Trustees and receive funding from the Vodafone Foundation in the UK as well as their local Vodafone company.

The Vodafone Foundation received recognition as registered charity number 1089625 from the Charity Commission for England and Wales on 4 December 2001. For more information:
http://www.vodafone.com/content/index/about/foundation/about_foundation.html

About Vodafone:

We’ve come a long way since making the first ever mobile call in the on 1 January 1985. Today, more than 407 million customers around the world choose us to look after their communications needs. In 25 years, a small mobile operator in Newbury has grown into a global business and the seventh most valuable brand in the world. We now operate in more than 30 countries and partner with networks in over 50 more.

In an increasingly connected world, it’s no longer just about being able to talk and text. Our network allows people to share images and videos as soon as they’re captured; to share thoughts and feelings as soon as they’re created. And because we now do more than just mobile in many markets, more customers look to Vodafone for great value in their fixed line and broadband services too.

Vodafone understands that businesses need a communications partner with solutions that scale and adapt as their business needs change. They may need a few smart phones for voice and email on the move. Or they may require a fully integrated solution that enables sharing of documents, video conferencing and access to corporate applications from any location. Whatever their size and whatever their need, we are constantly looking for new, innovative ways to help our business customers grasp every opportunity in a simple and straightforward way.

Our commitment to the community in which we operate extends beyond the products and services we offer. The cornerstone of our commitment to global social investment is the Vodafone Group Foundation. Funded by annual contributions from the Vodafone Group, the Foundation and its network of 27 country foundations supports the community involvement activities of Vodafone  and funds selected global initiatives directly.

True to our origins, Vodafone has always committed to deliver useful and inspiring innovation. In 1991 we enabled the world’s first international mobile roaming call. In 2002, with Vodafone Live! we set a new standard for mobile communications with internet access on the move. Fuelled by the desire for sustainable innovation, we recently introduced Vodafone Money Transfer which allows customers in emerging markets to send and receive money safely and easily using their mobile phone. We’ve also caused a stir in the industry with the Vodafone 150 – our most affordable ultra low cost handset yet.

We’re a brand that loves change – if it’s not happening naturally then we’re creating it ourselves. It’s in our DNA to push forward, to create a better future, to never rest and find new ways that help people communicate.  That’s the lifeblood that runs throughout Vodafone. We are driven to empower people.

To find that spark that empowers you is why we are in business. That’s what we mean when we say ‘power to you’. For more information:
http://www.vodafone.com/content/index/about/about_us.html

About Apps4Android, Inc.

Apps4Android is the world’s largest developer of Android applications focused on accessibility with seven million installations in 136 countries. Apps4Android’s applications are being used on 1,791 different Android devices (running 20 versions of Android firmware), made by 48 manufacturers and distributed by 60 wireless service providers. For more information: http://apps4android.org

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