The MICOLE project is aimed at developing a system that supports collaboration, data exploration, communication and creativity of visually impaired and sighted children. In addition to the immediate value as an assistive tool the system will have societal implications through improved inclusion of the visually disabled in education, work, and society in general. While the main activity is the construction of the system, several other supporting activities are needed; the most important being empirical research of collaborative and cross-modal haptic interfaces for blind and visually impaired children.
Empirical experiments are carried out to find out how to use different senses to partially replace missing visual capabilities, especially in tasks that are central in the system being constructed. MICOLE includes two work packages with different empirical foci to feed critical information into the central iterative construction-evaluation cycle of the system development and evaluation work packages.
The intended users are involved throughout the project in participatory design and evaluations. The consortium has been set up with partners that have existing contacts and experience in working with local and national organizations for the visually disabled to facilitate user involvement.
The software architecture and applications are multimodal, that is, they make use of hearing and touch to complement different levels of visual disability. The project participants include European and world leaders in the area of haptics and multimodal human-computer interaction to ensure that the best possible expertise is used. In addition to the system built in MICOLE, the project produces theoretical and empirical results and guidelines for developers generally improving the conditions for inclusion and participation of the visually disabled in the Information Society.
The project offers an outstanding opportunity and the critical mass for the consortium to integrate and realize results of their earlier work and to test and realize the most novel ideas for the mutually appreciated goal to solve this important problem. The results will become a valuable European contribution for the development of information society and real-world equality for disabled children as empowered future citizens. The project builds on the previous research projects both nationally and internationally.
MICOLE concentrates on reinforcing European strengths in areas where it has established industrial and technology leadership. Europe is strong in the area of multimodal interaction, with several research groups and companies working in this area. In particular, Reachin Technologies AB is a world leader in haptic technology and provides a strong contribution to the project. The second industrial partner in the project, France Telecom, has experience in developing applications for blind persons.
More information about eInclusion.
Last modified 29-03-2005 10:29 AM