| Posted on 15/04/2014 - 22:08|
A web mobile app to facilitate the daily mobility of people with special needs. A navigator made by the community and tailored on the community. Willchair. Not only a mobile app but a mobility app!
Architectural boundaries are a strong issue in the daily life of the differently abled. Today’s cities, while striving to become smart, are often unable to respond the needs of people with special needs. In particular, urban mobility for people with physical disability is quite difficult. This raises the need for a technological solution that would enable disabled to independently face the daily city paths and to benefit of public-private services and structures, in order to live the city without additional help. Moreover, professional and voluntary associations would be facilitated in carrying out their activities. Finally, the knowledge of the territory and people awareness about the problem would support a better territorial planning.
Willchair is a web/mobile application that allows differently abled people, either permanent or temporary, to benefit from absolute autonomy of mobility. In particular, the app is an ad-hoc navigator aimed to get directions to people depending on their specific disability. A set of values marks every street and certifies the level of accessibility for specific disabilities. Both permanent and temporary obstacles on the chosen path are reported. In addition, the user can map routes and share them through crowdsourcing approach on open-source platform: they can indicate the most comfortable paths and the presence of physical barriers. The 6K will be used to design the navigation system and map a pilot-city. In the future, the app will scale up in every city through the crowdsourcing process.
Target group and social impact
Willchair aims to simplify daily life of differently abled people and temporary invalids and to facilitate the activities of associations and social services in the sector. In addition to the immediate benefits, the service would trigger the community and the institutions awareness: the first one would contribute to signal architectural barriers, while the second one could have information on the need for intervention for a better territorial planning. The map, enriched with information concerning the accessibility of public offices, museums, parks and private buildings (shops, supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, etc.), allows a wider knowledge of the services offered in the territory, leading to benefits in term of financial return and could also pay in term of image for the territory.
Competences of the applicant
We are a multidisciplinary team made up of a PhD biologist, an economist and an engineer. The biologist works on medical devices for nervous and bone tissues regeneration. The economist covers market analysis, innovative business and community engagement. The engineer has in charge the service, design and platform implementation using the best technological solutions.
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