|NAtive Language Internet Access (NALIA)|
| Posted on 31/05/2014 - 17:11|
A system which automatically recognises the native language of the user and displays information in that language, by default. The idea is to improve Social Inclusion and Equality with respect to healthcare, hospitality, tourism and other services.
Social Inclusion requires that increasing resources be spent on printed matter in multiple languages, for healthcare and other government services. This is bad for the environment and risks a lack of approprate materials at the point of need given that, for example, over 100 different languages are spoken in the UK. The Internet might be seen as an alternative but there are problems. The default language for any site is usually the main official language of the host country, with options to switch to other official languages. For non-official languages, Google Translate is sometimes used. In both cases, the user must actively select their chosen language each time. Curently, there is no standardised way of doing this - a user who speaks little or no English is hence at risk of exlusion.
Through enhancements to a wireless network (e.g. at a hospital), it is possible to record data which includes the user's preferred language. NALIA will look to produce a prototype platform on which a user can much more easily access information in their native language. The cost of the enhanced system would be covered by ongoing savings in printed materials and from increased tourism. Through the receipt of emails or by saving under 'favourites', users would be able to take away links to required information. If successful, the project would look to modify an existing Cyberair application aimed at the hospitality/healthcare sectors (www.cyberair.co.uk). Funding would be used to create a full cost/benefit model (including a competitor analysis) and gain feedback from relevant stakeholders.
Target group and social impact
The Target Group would be anyone who has a need for information, but who does not speak any of the official languages of their host country. Users could be those seeking advice at a local hospital, students arriving on campus for the first time, business people arriving at airports and railway stations, or tourists wanting to know about a particular attraction. The environmental and sustainability benefit would be from less printed materials, which would also be an economic benefit. Further such benefit would accrue from greater levels of tourism and, it is hoped, more business activity. Social benefit would come from a better, more welcoming user experience where users get better, faster access to services. Addressing the language issue means that NALIA will benefit minority groups.
Competences of the applicant
NAILIA is a Joint Venture between Cyberware and Railfast. Cyberair is a service provided by Cyberware (www.cyberware.co.uk), with extensive experience in the design, implementaion and management of networking software and hardware since 1996. Railfast Intermodal Limited (www.railfastintermodal.com) is an innovator in multimodal logsitics and IT, with support under the ERDF (HiTechRail) Programme.
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