ViaOpta apps for the blind are ready for Cannes Lions and Lions Health

Mobile application and AR technology developer ARworks teamed up with Studio Binär to take the ViaOptaDaily and ViaOpta Nav mobile applications to the highly acclaimed Cannes Lions and Lions Health competitions.

The WHO estimates that worldwide 285million people are visually impaired of which 39million are completely blind. The ViaOpta global initiative demonstrates Novartis Pharmaceuticals’ commitment to vision health by providing practical support to visually impaired people to better understand and manage their condition.

The ViaOptaDaily personal multi-function application and the ViaOpta Nav personal navigation application projects were launched by Novartis in 2014. The first versions were released within the year for both iOS and Android operating systems. Since then extensive testing of the apps has been done by hundreds of users to elevate phase 2 of the development and support the release of even more innovative versions of the apps in 2015.

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The ViaOptaDaily mobile application excels in 6 different functions by enhancing visual information or converting it to audible. The various features of the app serve the users like those of a virtual Swiss Army knife. The colour and money recognisers identify the colour of objects and various banknotes put in front of the smart phone’s camera and tell out the result loud. The magnifier is a single click loupe to help low vision users. The talking timer, contact book and weather report functions convert text to speech in the desired language.

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The ViaOpta Nav application takes advantage of mobile phone location service, also additional GPS signals when necessary. At any time the user can query the app for current position and junctions around. To help blind and low vision people move independently, the app continuously provides audio information to them. The users listen to turn by turn instructions to any given destination. Way-points and upcoming junctions are identified with corresponding distances to improve the effectiveness of the route.

Studio Binär carried out extensive market research on behalf of the developer ARworks and managed the award competition entries for both Cannes Lions and Lions Health. The entries include various supporting materials ranging from case stories through long and short case films to presentation boards.

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