Using tech for inclusivity
Last week, we went along to the Tech4Good Awards, run by UK charity AbilityNet and BT to check out some of the initiatives using digital technology to improve the lives of others.
Sponsored by Microsoft and Comic Relief (amongst others) the awards are now in their ninth year, and celebrate people doing amazing work with technology for positive social change. Something really unique about these awards has to be the vibe of the day, I’ve not witnessed such a supportive, positive group before. With everyone showcasing not only their projects but their true passions. From robots for farmers to music boxes for Alzheimer’s, this event really has a place for everything.
The great things about these project ideas are they all rely on things that already exist but their use is truly unique. It’s a real show of how thinking creatively can open up new ideas for people, brands and events. Creating a truly unique experience is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to connect with people, and technology could enhance the power to do that.
Highlight of the day
Apart from some brilliant glow stick voting, one highlight of my day was talking to the creative director, Simon Tew at Digit Music. Digit Music are aiming to remove the restrictions to music creation. Simon, a music producer, heads up the project, his passion for music and making it accessible to all come through as he passionately told us about their mission. Their product ‘Control One’ allows physically disabled people to create music without having to learn an entirely new physical skill. Simon and one of his fab artists Jess, taught us how to use the handsets, designed primarily to work with muscle memory, something Jess was impressively good at. Each handset is attuned to different instruments and the main software contained numerous different instruments and music types for every artist to play with, providing a platform for some great solo and group music production.
With some extremely impressive credentials already under its wing, including BBC Introducing and performing at The Proms, it was not only eye opening but heart warming that someone could share their passions in this way. Showcasing a brilliant way of using new technology and making it accessible and impressive to all – Brilliant news too, Digit Music even won the Accessibility Award, sponsored by Microsoft.
Some of the other winners included The National Theatre with their smart glasses for those with hearing loss, Beam with their homelessness initiative MeeTwo a peer support mental help app. All well worth having a read of the brilliant work they’re doing. You can see all the finalists of this years Tech4Good Awards on their website here.
Can you join in?
Could you use these projects as part of your events? It’s certainly worth exploring. Accessibility means a more inclusive space for everyone. We’re proud at Experience to be making steps in making our projects more accessible, there is a long way to go, but there is a world of opportunity for us to play with.
Here’s an Experience case study you may like, Banking on Emotions using VR, eye and emotion tracking technology for Lloyds Banking Group.