TRON Enableware Symposium 2O12

“Universal Design for Emergency Communication”

December 17 (Sat), 2011
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
13:00 Reception
13:30-14:30 Keynote Speech
“Universal Design for Emergency Communication”

Ken Sakamura
Chair of TRON Enableware Research Group
Director of YRP Ubiquitous Networking Laboratory
Professor of Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies / The University of Tokyo

14:30-14:50 Intermission
14:50-16:30 Panel Discussion

Akiyoshi Takamura
Teacher, Special Needs Education School for the Visually Impaired
Hiroshi Hasegawa
Advisor, NPO Japan Computer Association of the Deaf
Eiko Tatematsu
Professor, School of Social Welfare / Tokyo University and Graduate School of Social Welfare
Masatoshi Nozaki
Director, Telecommunication Systems Division, Telecommunications Business Department, Telecommunications Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC)
Takayuki Ito
Executive Research Engineer, Science and Technology Research Laboratories, Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK)

Ken Sakamura

16:30 Closing

When a major disaster such as the Great East Japan Earthquake occurs, it is difficult for the people in the affected area to obtain emergency information. Especially the challenged face more hardships.

For them, it is particularly important to obtain such information accurately. For example, the aurally-challenged cannot hear tsunami warnings if the warnings are issued using siren and a loud speaker. If emergency information is displayed as a ticker on TV, the visually-challenged cannot see it. Thus, universal design for information communication is really important in emergencies.

This year’s TRON Enableware Symposium (TEPS2012) addresses the issue of information provision in emergencies. In this symposium, the measures taken in the past and some actual examples in emergencies are examined, and how information communication technologies should contribute to the universal design of information communication is discussed.

TRON Electronic Prosthetics

TRON Electronic Prosthetics (TEP) is an expression that has been adopted by The Realtime Operating system Nucleus (TRON) Project to concisely describe hardware and/or software technology specially designed to be attached to, implanted in, or interfaced with the handicapped, thus enabling them to utilize TRON-based resources.

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.

Posted in TRON Enableware Symposium (TEPS)