HackABILITY aims to make the world more accessible using technology

Altitude Accelerator, ICUBE and Arrow Electronics have partnered together to host hackABILITY. hackABILITY is an extended hackathon which pushes teams to use technology to solve accessibility issues and help those living with disabilities. Altitude Accelerator and its partners hope to use hackABILITY as a platform to raise awareness of assistive technologies and facilitate rapid prototyping of these solutions.

Final submission dates for teams was on October 12, 2017 and from the list of participants, we narrowed the finalists down to seven teams. These teams have a wide range of solutions that target areas such as visual and hearing impairment, physical disabilities and learning disabilities among many others. The finalists so far are:

  • AIDex – Integrating artificial intelligence technology to provide hands-free control to tetraplegics
  • BlueScout – Creating a portal to make the world a more accessible and equitable place for those with physical or sensory limitations
  • CoolCats – Modernizing the hearing aid industry with sleek and discreet hearing aids using bone conduction to transmit sound
  • iC Color – Utilizing screen filters to assist in differentiating hues for red-green colorblindness
  • Living Life – Improvements to bring independence to those using electric wheelchairs
  • ai – Using artificial intelligence and chatbots to allow those with disabilities to access cellular technology and the internet
  • SmartCane – Making navigating the world easier for the blind and deafblind with a sensor-enabled cane and touch feedback

As the competition progresses we will further narrow down the teams to a final three. The finale of the event will be held on December 7, 2017, where the three finalists will present their ideas to a panel of judges including:

  • Sam Schmidt – Former Indy Car driver and co-owner of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
  • Barry Munro – Chief Development Officer, Canadian Spinal Research Organization
  • Rob Buren – Speaker, athlete, entrepreneur
  • Susan Picarello – Assistant Deputy Minister, OPS Accessibility Office and Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities
  • Laura Dottori-Attanasio – Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Office, CIBC

Winning teams will receive prize packages from Altitude Accelerator, ICUBE, Inertia Engineering, UrTech, Spacebar and Microsoft BizSpark to further develop and commercialize their winning ideas. These packages include business and legal coaching, access to networking and growth opportunities and access to industrial design and engineering.

For more information visit http://www.hackability.ca/

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