“Universal Design in Ubiquitous Computing Society”
December 12 (Sat), 2009
Tokyo Midtown Conference (Midtown Tower 4F)
- Organized by
T-Engine Forum, TRON Association, and TRON Enableware Research Group
- Cosponsored by
Institute of Infrastructure Application of Ubiquitous Computing (IAUC),
Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, the University of Tokyo
TRON Enableware Research Group has made efforts to realize “Universal Design” in “Computing Everywhere” environment, or in ubiquitous computing society for more than 20 years.
This year’s TRON Enableware Symposium (TEPS2010) looks back at what have been achieved by TRON Enableware Research Group so far, and discusses what pieces are still missing in terms of technology, institutional framework, economic environment, etc. in order to make full use of the achievement in our daily lives and make the living in computerized society comfortable and rewarding.
TRON Electronic Prosthetics
Traditionally, prosthetics is the branch of medicine concerned with the research and development of artificial organs and body parts, which are either attached to, or implanted in the disabled. Traditional prosthetics devices are both functional (e.g., artificial heart valves, hip joints, hands, and legs) and nonfunctional (e.g., artificial eyes).
However, the advent of modern technology, particularly computer technology, has brought forth the possibility of developing prosthetic devices for the handicapped that lie outside the realm of traditional prosthetics. Not only is it now possible to replace major organs such as the heart with prosthetics devices, but the knowhow also exists to fabricate extra-corporal, parallel limbs for quadriplegics, which could be controlled solely through voice recognition technology.
As a result, it was decided to use the term prosthetics in a much broader sense than it has been used up to now, both to avoid a lengthy expression that would have to be reduced into an unfamiliar acronym, and a totally new term that could lead to even more confusion. Moreover, it should be noted that the term “prosthetic” has already been taken over by the field of linguistics (e. g., a prosthetic vowel), so we see no reason why the meaning of prosthetics should not be expanded to serve the needs of the TRON Project.
However, since prosthetics is a rather specialized term that even many native English speakers are not familiar with, we have also coined the term “Enableware,” i.e., computer hardware and/or software specially designed to `enable’ disabled persons and persons with special needs to utilize modern computer equipment, in particular TRON-based equipment.