SUITCEYES

Give deafblind people the possibility to take more active part in the society

Courtesy of LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, see http://lighthouse-sf.org.

Motivation

In the EU an estimated total of more than 2.5 Mio. people are deafblind. This grave condition of impairments in seeing and hearing is often coupled with cognitive disabilities. The communication with deafblind people is very difficult which results in only a low involvement of those people into the society.

Goals and actions

Giving deafblind people more possibilites to interact with their environment and with other people would improve their living standard enormously. The project SUITCEYES addresses three different aspects of life which should be improved:

  • Perception of the environment and geo-location
  • Communication and exchange of semantic content
  • Learning and joyful life experiences

Furthermore, the enlarged communication space should help to reduce the effects of cognitive disabilities. This could offer the access to sheltered employment for the concerned people.

Innovations and perspectives

The improvement of communication and perception of deafblind people is approached by combining sensors and actuators (e.g. haptic, thermal or smell) with smart textiles and elements of gamification. The sensors address different ways of perception which enlarges the communication space, whereas gamification elements integrate a playful character into the system. By offering all features in a smart textile (e.g. a T-shirt) or small wearables, the system is easy to establish in daily life.