ECOMODE has the goal of improving the usability and acceptability of mobile ICT devices such as tablets and smart phones for visually impaired and people with mild speech and motor impairments, of which a high percentage of representative are among the elderly.
According to the World Health Organization, over 285 million people in the world are visually impaired, of whom 39 million are blind and 246 million have moderate to severe visual impairment. It is predicted that without extra interventions, these numbers will rise to 75 million blind and 200 million visually impaired by the year 2020. For Europe alone, an estimated 30 million individuals are blind or visually impaired. This higher figure takes into account the prevalence of sight‐loss amongst an increasing population of elderly people in Europe which is extremely difficult to accurately quantify, and also the fact that there exists a number of people who suffer from varying degrees of sight loss but who either ignore this or decide for personal reasons not to declare their condition.
Around 80% of blind people never leave their home.
ECOMODE wants to provide reliable and robust outdoor interaction with a smart device,
- Navigational aid and related services become available, improving confidence of the visually impaired individual to leave home and navigate the outdoor environment.
- Internet‐based service such as e.g. information on public transport will be accessible and support mobility of the users.
- Simply doing a phone call becomes much easier, again boosting visually impaired individual’s confidence to leave their home and participate in society.