Tue, Nov 10, 2015 - Page 5 News List

App aimed at the visually impaired wins design award

Straff writer, with CNA

An app designed and developed by four Taiwanese university students for visually impaired users has won the junior prize at this year’s Red Dot Awards in Berlin.

The app, “BlindNavi,” won the junior prize and 10,000 euros (US$10,767) at the awards ceremony at the Konzerthaus Berlin on Friday.

The app “helps blind people to reach independence when navigating in unknown environments. The developers have spent much effort on simplifying the interaction both for planning a trip and for traveling autonomously,” the jury said.

“This outstanding work is a commendable showcase project for young designers. We are proud to award the project with the highest honor for a student work at the Red Dot Award: Communication Design — the Red Dot: Junior Prize,” the jury said.

The app was designed by Chen Hsuan-eng (陳萱恩) and Chen Chien-hsing (陳潛心), students at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST), and developed by Lin Yi-ying (林禕瑩) and Wang I-fang (王奕方), graduate students at National Chengchi University (NCCU).

The organizers said 23 entries won a Best of the Best Award, and BlindNavi was awarded the junior prize from among these 23.

A total of 7,451 designs from 53 nations were submitted to the Red Dot Award: Communication Design competition.

In April, BlindNavi won first prize at the CHI Conference’s Student Design Competition in Seoul, South Korea.

The app was designed and developed through a collaborative project on visually impaired navigation between NTUST’s Design Information and Thinking Lab and NCCU’s Innovative User Interface Lab that was commissioned by the Ministry of Science and Technology last year.

It is expected to hit the market late next year or in 2017, according to local media reports.

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