About the Echovis project
Before we tell you about the genesis of the “Echovis” project, let us briefly present our company.
Transition Technologies S.A. is a Polish capital group. It brings together IT enterprises that offer advanced and innovative solutions, e.g., for the energy, gas, industry, and bioinformatics markets. The group provides outsourcing of IT and software development services for numerous global corporations. Find out more at https://www.tt.com.pl.
Apart from its fundamental activity, for many years Transition Technologies has been disseminating the idea of corporate social responsibility. Employing modern technology, as well as the knowledge and passion of its employees, the company has been implementing projects that improve the quality and safety of other people’s lives. These include the Seeing Assistant project, as part of which we have developed several applications that support the blind and visually impaired in many aspects of their day-to-day life. We have been creating it in close cooperation with people from this milieu all around the world.
An idea to create an innovative tool that enables developing the skill of echolocation in people with visual impairment arose in the course of its implementation. Together with Utilitia sp. z o.o., we applied for a grant under the GameInn scheme to the National Centre for Research and Development. Our idea was appreciated so much that we were awarded financing for its implementation from EU funds (POIR.01.02.00-00-0137/1).
During the first stage of the project, we focused on conducting a wide range of tests. Their main objective was to verify the possibility to record sound with such high quality that when it was played back in stereophonic headphones hooked up to a smartphone, it would satisfy the parameters required to learn echolocation.
The second stage, among others, involved conducting industrial research and development work leading to developing a prototype of a game that enables virtual movement within a space based on reality. Training modules allowed to familiarize specific target groups (children and adults with different skill levels) with the world of binaural sounds and echolocation.
The results of both aforementioned stages turned out promising enough for us to decide to continue the project and prepare laboratory models of games for smartphones and other mobile devices. Next, we put in a lot of work to develop such a game as EchoVis Quiz. You can learn more about it by clicking this link. The Project assumes developing 3 games to achieve this goal.
Until 2020, the project was implemented within a consortium with Utilitia - a social enterprise that employs and activates people with disabilities - and in cooperation with the Łódź University of Technology, as well as training and educational centres for the blind. “It was the teachers of spatial orientation for the death who reported a need for a tool that could facilitate teaching certain things without the need for presence in a given sound space”.
We believe that providing such IT solutions will significantly contribute to improving the ability of people with visual impairment to use hearing. Developing this skill will provide the blind and visually impaired with high level of self-sufficiency. It will give them more freedom of self-movement and improve their everyday life.
Examples of such individuals as, e.g., James Holman, Ben Underwood, or Daniel Kish confirm that echolocation can be used by people. Through his trainings and courses, Daniel Kish demonstrated that this skill is available to anyone, and not just selected groups. Of course, not everyone will reach the top level, but one that matches their hearing abilities.
Updated on 22/11/2022