December 18 (Sat), 2010
Tokyo Midtown Conference (Midtown Tower 4F, Room 7)
- Organized by
T-Engine Forum 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
“Free Mobility Assistance” system which supports the challenged to travel smoothly by themselves. TRON Project has been working on the realization of the system by developing the necessary technology and conducting feasibility study experiments many times over the years.
Government alone is not sufficient to operate and develop the system properly and continuously. It is required to establish an infrastructure to support the system by many stakeholders including users.
To establish the infrastructure, first, the government needs to publish various information proactively. Then, the development of the infrastructure such as social and legal framework and standardization to promote the development of many applications and systems using the information is required.
For example, if information on facilities, construction, etc. is published, it is possible to build the system to assist free mobility based on the latest information by consolidating barrier-free information from available sources.
Also, thanks to the social network, technology to obtain location information, development of mobiles, it is possible that local residents send barrier-free information in their surroundings easily in real time, and the information is fed back to the mobility assistance system immediately.
This year’s TRON Enableware Symposium (TEPS2011) makes a proposal on establishing the infrastructure of Free Mobility Assistance system to be developed and operated by many people including system developers, local residents, users, etc. as well as the government with the theme, “Barrier Free 2.0.”
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.