With half of the population reportedly having one or more impairments by the age of 65, accessibility as a design principle should be a given. It certainly is much less costly to design-in accessibility than to retrofit after the fact. And a must-have for one person, such as close caption for the hard of hearing, can be a feature for another (a certain 19-year old with perfectly good hearing who prefers to watch TV programming with captions). The telecommunications industry is fortunate to have CableLabs, which is a leader in understanding how to adapt future technologies to improve accessibility for all, as seen in the following post.
CableLabs’ COO Chris Lammers provides the behind the scenes view of one of Rance Howard’s final acting roles in this interview filmed at TIS18. Howard, an accomplished actor with credits in 283 television shows and movies, as well father to director Ron Howard, was the star of the CableLabs video, The Near Future – a Better Place. The video talks to the near-term technologies that will allow more people to age in place and not lose mobility (as seen with the glimpses of the autonomous shuttle #AccessibleOlli taking him and his friends to a fishing spot).
“Our focus is on making sure that transportation of all kinds is available for people with disabilities and older adults and their caregivers,” explains Carol Wright Kenderdine, Co-Director of the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC). NACTC’s scope extends beyond the mode of transport and includes helping people access and understand how to use the available transportation modes. Speaking at the AVS18 Summit in San Francisco, Kenderdine indicates that the lack of transportation options is one of the challenges the NADTC’s constituency faces.
A long-time proponent of autonomous taxis, Princeton Professor Dr Alain Kornhauser discusses a potential downside for this future mobility as a service offering. Speaking at the AVS18 Symposium, Kornhauser warns that operators will need to account for how people treat property they don’t own. The approach he suggests implies design that addresses things like safety, physical abilities of the riders and the ability to communicate in ways that individuals need.
The old saying about walking a mile in one’s shoes to understand another person’s world echoes in comments made by Erich Manser, Accessibility Researcher at IBM. Manser is well suited for his role of understanding the requirements to improve accessibility, as he has been unable to drive for the past 15 years due to a gradual loss of vision. At CES2018, IBM, along with other the other ecosystem partners that are part of the open and crowd-sourced, #AccessibleOlli project, demonstrated their methodology for understanding the needs of different people.
Networks need to focus on the consumer experience and not use B2B language says Bob Gold, CEO of Bob Gold & Associates. This is one of the pearls of wisdom from Gold’s recent survey of industry professionals about streaming media services like Netflix, Hulu and start-up video brands. In our ViodiTV interview filmed at the 2018 Independent Show, Gold indicates that online and streaming video is at an inflection point, and now is the time to really put the consumer first because they are no longer limited to the traditional linear video bundle.
- This would sure make digging up roads for things like fiber optic infrastructure easier than it is for today’s roads.
- RT @BerinSzoka “No, Verizon didn’t “throttle” the Santa Clara [County] fire department. I explain what really happened, why it wasn’t a #netneutrality issue, how the #FTC could have dealt with what was really an issue of customer confusion, and the political agenda at play here:” Why wasn’t the SCC fire department using FirstNet, the network dedicated to first-responders, instead of an off-the-shelf, consumer network?
- RT @ArvigHQ “Driverless vehicles also could solve much of the country’s housing crunch and even lower the cost of consumer goods. Are they safe and here to stay?” Great article, @ArvigHQ. And, as another proof-point, here is an overview of an open and crowd-source effort to provide autonomous mobility for all and could end up being part of the solution for ferrying people around one of MN’s fair cities.
An open and crowd-sourced accessibility lab is how Joe Speed, CTO of ADLINK’s IoT Solutions and Technology group describes #AccessibleOlli. The commercial promise of this autonomous, low-speed (<25 MPH) electric mobility pod is to provide high-quality, on-demand transportation to all people, regardless of an individual’s ability. Speed points out that the lessons learned from #AccessibleOlli are applicable to markets beyond mobility. He emphasizes that inclusive design is bigger than any one person or group and that’s why an open and crowd-source effort is critical for solving big challenges.