Early Bird is a mobile application that displays a unique hashtag (#) to provide additional information to users during times of emergency. It is a proof-of-concept idea that shows how a unique hashtag identifier, created at the time of message dissemination by an alert authority, can be linked to a variety of social media sources to provide important lifesaving information in greater detail than is possible with the 90 character limitation of WEA.
Bluetooth enabled external alerting device connects to mobile phones via Bluetooth and alerts the user with a sequenced light display and a siren only when a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) is received on an associated phone. It also allows up to 3 accessible attachments to be connected to the device, such as a pillow shaker, bed shaker or strobe light. The device is unique because it is only enabled when a WEA message from a FEMA approved alert authority is sent for the geotargeted area.
The Wireless RERC Building Research Capacity Project is tasked with training the next generation designer to consider universal design in their work. The sophomore Industrial Design Studio course was chosen to provide design students with an advanced design understanding. In this course, the students had the opportunity to work with people with mobility impairments to understand their needs and consider these needs alongside other people's needs, thus providing a more universally usable solution. Of 14 teams, 6 were chosen to highlight their work at the HEAL showcase.
The overall purpose of the Wireless RERC AppFactory is to advance universal design in the wireless community. The objectives of this project are development, deployment, and adoption of software applications (“apps”) to enhance the utility and usability of wireless products and services for wireless customers with and without disabilities.
App Factory will focus on assisting the development of apps designed specifically to address barriers to wireless access and use by people with cognitive, physical, sensory, and/or speech disabilities. Wherever practical, these apps incorporate features useful to all customers, with or without disabilities.
Funded since 2001, the Wireless RERC (Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center) has become a recognized leader on issues and solutions related to the accessibility and usability of mobile wireless products and services by people with disabilities.