Humans, Phones and their Sensors

This is the proposal of a model that relates human sensory disabilities to specific mobile computers sensors, in such way that these sensors are used by software applications that will improve the interaction between the user and the environment. As a generative theory, the model can be used to analyse accessibility problem scenarios (sensory related, not cognitive) and link these problems to specific mobile features and its software APIs. A proof of concept of this model is demonstrated by the implementation of a mobile application (Color detector) whose concept was generated entirely from the model.

As we watch mobile phones evolve into mobile computers, new accessibility solutions arise. Not only new ways to make these devices more accessible, but also their use as a tool to help
people access their environment. The growing processing power and memory storage capacity of mobile phones, multi-sensors equipped, fully connected, not to mention their constant affordability increase, make this concept even more feasible.

Because they are software based, these solutions will not require special crafted phones or accessories, which means elderly parents will be able to use the same phones as their young children, or the disabled teenager will be able to use the same phone as their classmates -> maybe someone could think that making a special phone for the disabled would make a mobile phone company gain share-of-heart of consumers, but.. the disabled really want equality and do not want to be spotted as needing special anything.

Human Sensory Disabilities
The source of the info on the chart below is The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (most commonly known by the abbreviation ICD) that
provides codes to classify diseases and a wide variety of signs, symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances and external causes of injury or disease. Every health
condition can be assigned to a unique category and given a code, up to six characters long. Such categories can include a set of similar diseases.

Sensory disabilities, subset - according to ICD-9 (6b) codes 360-389: Diseases of the sense organs.

The International Classification of Diseases is published by the World Health Organization. The ICD is used world-wide for morbidity and mortality statistics, reimbursement systems and
automated decision support in medicine. This system is designed to promote international comparability in the collection, processing, classification, and presentation of these statistics.
The ICD is a core classification of the WHO Family of International Classifications (WHO-FIC). For this model, a selected subset from the ICD List of ICD-9 (6b) codes 360-389: Diseases of
the sense organs [reference] – will be initially used. It is very important to mention that more diseases of the sense organs can be added to this subset.

Mobile Computers Sensors
The mobile computer sensors subset is built according to the features implemented on the mobile platform to be used. The process is to identify what are the sensor features, with their hardware and software specifications.


Use case – Mobile Color Detection
In order to demonstrate the use of the combination of these charts, a mobile application, whose concept was generated entirely from the model, was implemented. Sensory disability chart path: Disorders of the eye and adnexa (360-379) / (368) Visual disturbances / (368.5) Color vision deficiencies / (368.54) Achromatopsia. Disability description: the inability to see color. People with achromatopsia have problems to understand color codes in books, monitors, street signs, etc. Application requirement: an application that detects color. The user will use a cursor to know what is the color inside the selected frame. The color can be described in RGB or by its name according to a selected RGB-name chart.

Mobile sensor chart path: Camera / Hardware-Software / Computer vision library / Statistics – mean.



The use of ICD List of ICD-9 (6b) codes 360-389: Diseases of the sense organs, provides a standard for sensory disabilities accessibility approach. It attempts to organise a systematic approach when trying to understand and classify disabilities related to the sense organs. The more specific the classification states the more logical to relate it to a mobile sensor to be used in the proposed accessibility solution. Building a sensor chart for the mobile device to used also guides the selection of the right sensor – the hardware feature and the software API – to be used. The whole path, from the sensory disabilities chart to the mobile sensor chart, can be used to design the structure of the mobile software accessibility solution, from the requirements phase and feasibility study, to tests and validation.

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