Sense International India, also known as Sense India, is an organization that support and advocate for better services for deafblind children and adults across India.
Objective / insight
There are an estimated 6,00,000 deafblind persons around the world. Many more remain unknown. Since 95% of what we learn is through our eyes and ears, the deafblind, are highly disadvantaged.
While the progress of technology has touched our lives in unimaginable ways, the deafblind community has been left behind.
For them, the only medium of interpersonal communication is still Pro-tactile Sign Language, which requires physical contact with a person who can interpret it. Then Braille allows them to read, it remains a one-way communication system. What they sorely needed instead was a way to communicate with each other, and with the rest of the world.
Sense India wanted to creat a two-way communication tool for the deafbliend.
After interacting with the deafblind and their caregivers, the team realized that they had to design a user experience that replicates ‘touch & feel : since the deafblind deciphered all things by touch, they needed a technology or medium that could replicate tactile feedback. And it had to be easily available, affordable, and dependable.
The team created The Good Vibes App: the first, two-way communication tool for the deafblind that combines tactile inputs (tap/long press) and tactile outputs (distinct vibrations) based on Morse.
The launch of this application was followed by an immersive workshop where the caregivers were given English/Morse conversion training material along with the app downloaded on to their smartphones.
Smartphone’s inherent ability to vibrate held promise as it provides the much-needed tactile feel.
Then the team converted the English alphabet into tactile inputs (tap/long press) and back into tactile outputs (distinct vibrations).
Thus, Good Vibes app interprets ‘short tap’ and ‘long press’ as ‘dot’ and ‘dash’ of Morse code.
The project has won 18 prestigious International and national awards with 6 awards at Ad Stars 2018 and 4 Red Dot Design Awards and recent win of a Bronze at Clio 2018.