Category: Assistive Technology,
Organization name: Sightica Solutions Pvt Ltd
Launched Date: 2015-06-03
Who has created it: Sunil J Mathew
Problem statement and how the Accessible Innovation solves the problem.
With smartphone devices becoming more common and cheaper and technology allowing to 'bridge the communication gap', the team behind believe that such a mobile application would help the visually challenged and the elderly population in particular embrace technology faster and remove any hindrance to use of such technology that exists for specific groups. The basis problem with a vast number of differently abled and elderly users is that devices are not 'friendly' to use. 'Kuluk' available in English and Hindi for Free helps bridge this gap.
The App is made 100% accessible on screen readers. The app involves a process of activating a calling out function from one mobile device to another by assigning a particular gesture a number from the mobile device contact list. It involves a method of activating a call or a message function on a mobile device by recognizing a particular shake gestures. The number of times the gesture is performed is linked to the number that is set against that count. This allows for making calls to a numbers easy especially in case for persons who have visual impairment or have dementia, Alzheimers and other old age memory problems.
The method of sending a message to contact(s) on the mobile device allows users to text message each other in different scenarios with ease.
Tell us who is the target audience and how the accessible innovation will benefit them. Please specify the different target audiences groups and provide numbers and statistics of your current clients as well as what is the potential number of people that the innovation can impact and empower:
The target audience is the vast number of 'visually challenged' and 'elderly' population who have been downloading and using the App. The App is available in English and Hindi on the Google Play store and is 100% accessible using screen readers. The revolutionary product 'KuluK' enables users ( primarily visually challenged and elderly) make calls, send messages and communicate with others in the easiest and simplest way possible - using Gestures .
As use of technology increases, this App helps 'bridge' the gap for visually challenged and elderly users and enables persons who have visual impairment or have dementia, alzheimers and other old age memory problems to save a particular shake or gesture against a number. This allows users who are on the move or who find it difficult searching for contacts and numbers to make calls or send messages.
How is the accessible innovative solution different from current practices or ways of solving the problem?
The 'Kuluk' app has some interesting features which sets it apart and makes it unique. The App is 100% Accessible and allows the visually challenged and elderly use the mobile device with ease and brings more users to adopt to use of technology.
Features include :
- Shake To Call: Add a number from your phone contact list and set a Gesture against the number. Each corresponding number of Shakes, prompts for a confirmation and makes a call ! To cancel the call, you need to just shake the phone once.
- Tap To Call: Users can also Tap on the Phone screen to make a call. The Taps can be customised for each number from the phone list (up to 4 numbers). Each corresponding number of Taps prompts for a confirmation and makes a call ! To cancel the call, you need to place the phone in a Facedown position (see Tip ! )
- Shake to Message: A superior feature of the 'Kuluk' allows users to compose or load pre-set template messages. Users can link a Shake against a number (s) from your phone book. Each corresponding number of Shakes, allows the user to send out a message. and an Image too ( via MMS)
Tip ! - Face-down to Cancel
Another simple but useful feature is the ability to cancel a call by simply positioning your Android device 'Face-down' ( pointing the device face-down to a flat surface)
How is the accessible innovative solution new, different or unique in terms of the technology or implementation?
The App is the first of its kind product which is focussed on the visually challenged and elderly markets and made available Free in English and Hindi. The App can also be used for Women users who can 'shake' to send out calls or send messages in situations where they cannot look at mobile devices - giving this audience more security too. The App is 100% Accessible and available on all Android OS devices, and is a 'revolutionary' product which is to be bundled along with other Apps that are planned for a specific low cost device for the visually challenged and elderly by Sightica Solutions.
The App can be downloaded easily and has a 'help guide' which allows the user to setup and use the App with ease and customise each gesture/shake with a phone number or message. The user can even 'tap' or point the device 'down' to cancel the phone call.
How do you get the innovative solution to reach the target audience? Please elaborate on the your go to market strategy and which geographies do you currently work in and what are your future plans for marketing your innovation.
The App is available 'Free' to download on any Android Smartphone and through social media (facebook, twitter etc) at the moment the App works on word of mouth or 'suggestions' or recommendations made by users. Google Analytics has played in identifying specific user groups and networks to increase visibility of the app and encourage more users to download and use the App.
The target audience comprising of all visually challenged can download the English or Hindi version, customise important contact numbers against particular 'gestures or shakes' and use the App to make easy phone calls or send messages. This has enabled the App to get a 5 star rating and has got huge recommendations from several users - has been downloaded nearly 1000 times and has been rated highly.
What is the potential impact of the innovative solution on the lives of the target audience? Please elaborate by providing statistics of the current impact and the potential impact.
Once the App is bundled onto the low cost smartphone device, this will allow all visually challenged and elderly users access the easy-to use app and allow more potential users to access mobile devices easier. With smartphone devices becoming cheaper and more users trying to access technology, apps like 'Kuluk' will enable more differently abled and elderly users access technology and improve lives. The App presently has nearly 1000 downloads and has 5 star ratings, and has been rated high on the playstore.
Stories of how the Innovation has touched lives.
The programming part for the Kuluk App was done by a visually challenged Android developer in the Sightica Solutions team, thus making it an unique app where the App is developed by and for the community. The App was tested for accessibility making the App 100% accessible, and is also made available in English and Hindi thus opening up the usage to a wider audience.
Using social media pages like Facebook, Twitter etc we have been make the App known to a wider audience. The Analytics show that a number of users have shown repeat usage and also have shared the app to other users etc and given good feedback based on usage. The Sightica Team has won the NCPDEP Universal Design Awards in Aug '15.