Cloud4all’s ends, but access anywhere & anytime continues!

Working to make a more accessible world

Imagine that all the devices you use during the day could automatically adapt to your needs and preferences, this is what Cloud4all (C4A) is about.

Cloud4all is a GPII project funded by the European Commission (FP7) that started on October 2011 and will be ending October ’15. The Cloud4all consortium brings together 24 Partners and 3 Collaborators from 9 European Countries plus Canada and USA. The project is led by Ilunion and coordinated by Raising the Floor. 

Cloud4all group photo.

SOLUTIONS

Among the platforms that the project has addressed with fully functional demonstrators and proven that it is possible to enable their auto-configuration based on users’ needs and preferences are: Windows platform, Linux platform, Android mobile platform, Java mobile platform, Digital TV, Pixelsense platform, and Ticket Vending Machine (TVM) platform.  Moreover, the partners have developed demonstrators that automatically adjust based on user needs and preferences for two different browsers: Firefox and Google Chrome. Demonstrators also exist for smart home simulation applications, as well as various assistive technologies such as Supernova, Mobile Accessibility, eCtouch/eCmobile, Read and Write Gold, Maavis, and several more.

  •  The Google Chrome extension. Once installed, the browser extensions is presented as an icon in the toolbar of the browser, and can be accessed by any user at the moment. When users click on the extension icon, a pop up will launch, providing users with the option to insert their KeyToken in a text field or to create a new account (redirecting to the online preference management tools developed within Cloud4all). If the user enters a valid GPII KeyToken, the adaptations will apply to all web pages, and the pop-up will show a form that will allow users to fine-tune the settings changed and to key out.

User interface options snapshot

  • Maavis is a software developed by Opendirective that provides greatly simplified access to media, communications, web and programs on a computer. Maavis is Cloud4all-compatible, which means that it is able to retrieve the needs and preferences of Cloud4all users and adapt its User Interface depending on the user’s needs and preferences. The following video introduces Maavis and shows how its user interface adapts to the needs and preferences of two different users.

Do you want to know more about C4A solutions? You can find detailed setup instructions in C4A’s blog for developers or the GPII wiki page.

STAKEHOLDERS

Cloud4all’s “stakeholders” include a wide range of players targeted during the project.

  • Industry organizations and service providers (AT industry, ICT mainstream industry, technology-oriented organisations and service providers) have the potential of benefiting from the Project results.
  • Public and Private Insurance Organizations and governmental organizations are key actors. In many cases the related service delivery costs of the ATs cannot be borne by people with disabilities themselves. Additionally, these organizations can largely benefit (both in financial and social terms) from the uptake and financing of ICT applications and services compatible with Cloud4all architecture.
  • Policy Makers, including regulators and procurers, composed by High-level Governmental employees (local, national and European). The Governments and Legal Organizations create policy and legal frameworks to support end-users and their families and frame the structure of the Assistive Technology Industry.
  • The carers who regularly look after a person (sick, elderly, disabled person, etc.) can benefit of the c4a developments.

And in general, society as a whole can benefit of a more equal access to digital resources.

Within the project, training material has been produced to provide the necessary information so as the stakeholders will be able to gain deep knowledge of all Cloud4all components and instances so as to assist users using it. Different stakeholders can access specific training material (for general public, for policy-makers or for industry players).

Cartoon displaying how a user sets preferences and after she can use them in a device

WHAT’S NEXT

Cloud4all is part of the larger Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure effort, which continues in Prosperity4All, Universal Interface and Information Technology Access Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (UIITA-RERC),  OCAD University’s Fluid and FLOE projects, and many others.   The code developed in Cloud4all is intended to be usable by real people, in the real world and these other projects are extending it to support new use cases, features, and components — and moving the research in Cloud4all to reality.
Prosperity4All is a EC funded project that started on February 2013 to build on Cloud4all’s outcomes. Prosperity4all, also a GPII project, focuses on developing the infrastructure to allow a new ecosystem to grow.   The UIITA-RERC has been working on the GPII concept from the start and are now taking the Cloud4all work and applying it in libraries as well as creating a Shopping/Alerting Aid extension to the Unified Listing.   The FLUID and FLOE projects (which also preceded Cloud4all and provided some of its seed technologies) is continuing its work on personalization in the education space extending and incorporating Cloud4all efforts in its work.   And independent efforts in Europe are working on moving the Cloud4all/GPII work forward into practice in Europe.   
 
Together these efforts are:
1) Building a unified directory to find all products that match the user’s needs
2) Creating the entry point so users can adapt any device to their needs and preferences.
3) Constructing a space where developers can use the GPII to explore, create and test new ideas, then build them, and sell them internationally.

Infographic shows the roadmap and relationship of p4a, c4a and gpii.

 

STORIFYING CLOUD4ALL’S 4 YEARS