Slovenian Company Feelif Receives the European Commission Award
The company has developed an application for blind and visually impaired people, through which they can use smartphones and tablets.
The European Commission Award for the Best European Social Innovation in 2017 was presented to Feelif as well as the Buildx and SAGA companies. In total, nearly 800 projects from around 40 countries participated in the selection. At the solemn ceremony held at the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels, each winner project received a cash prize of 50 thousand euros.
Željko Khermayer, the 4WEB founder, got the idea of Feelif development four years ago while watching a programme about deafblind people. He was impressed by the isolation of these people from the outside world. Since that time, Khermayer began to nurture the idea of how to make smart phones and other products of modern technologies used in everyday life more accessible for such people.
A pilot project was the development of a communicator for the blind and deaf people, which won the first place in the contest of social innovations. However, deafblind people are a very difficult group of consumers. The developers have concluded that they can help a much wider range of people by creating an auxiliary device for the blind and visually impaired people.
Feelif consists of a surface raised grid, which rests on a smartphone or a tablet (differs in size), and an online application. The technology is based on the vibrations, by which a blind or a visually impaired person determines what is at his or her hand. The grid has protrusions that help the user more easily recognize the vibrations and imagine the object.
On the tablets with raised grid, the blind and visually impaired people will be able to identify basic objects (a square, a circle, a triangle) as well as the more complex ones (a house, a baby, a star, etc.), math functions and graphs, to learn the Braille type, draw, play and read online having free access to the Internet. Users can muster the technology in just five minutes.