>> Thank you. Now we have Team Tracktile,... ears, from University of Applied Sciences Potsdam in Germany. ...

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>> Thank you. Now we have Team Tracktile, explore a city with your hands and
ears, from University of Applied Sciences Potsdam in Germany. And they have
physical prototypes to share with you guys.
>> Hello. Hello, hello. Can you hear me? Yeah. Nice. Okay. Hello
everyone. We are Patrick, Cecile and Johannes from the University of Applied
Sciences in Potsdam, Germany, and we are proud to present our project,
Tracktile. So we started with a simple question: How do blind and visually
impaired people explore a city? So we humans are very visual creatures, and
when we think about how blind or visually impaired person would explore a city
we think there's a lot they can't experience and a lot they're missing because
they just can't use their eyes. But we didn't actually want to define visual
impairment as a deficit as something that remove those affected from an
essential part of human experience. Instead what we wanted to do was try to see
if there was something to be gained for everyone from the way they experienced
the world. So how can we explore a city without our eyes? First, there are
your immediate physical surroundings, just the space around you. So what's the
floor like? Are you walking on grass? Is there pavement, maybe? Is it
raining? Are you perhaps cold or uncomfortable? Yeah. Then you start to
listen and maybe you can hear strangers talking. Maybe there's a park across
the street, and you can hear the birds in the trees. Or maybe there's a street
just up a block and you can hear the cars rushing past. All right. Then
there's your sense of orientation, the knowledge you have of your surroundings.
So, do you know where you're going? Do you know the name of the street? Do you
know that there's a great coffee shop just to your right? So all these
different states of feeling, of knowing, of hearing, of remembering, these make
up our experience at the city scape. But there are other people in the city as
well and all of them, they have their own experiences, their own stories and
their own memories. And we wanted to make it possible to share those with
friends, with just anyone really. We wanted to give you the means to explore or
discover an entire city in a new way to connect with it, to learn about it,
perhaps even to fall in love with it. Tracktile is an electronically and
digitally augmented tactile map that makes it possible to explore a city with
your hands and with your ears. And Patrick will now talk about the magic behind
Tracktile.
>> Tracktile is not only an object but there's a whole service around it.
First thing you do as we go to the website and select your destination and the
sites you want to see. For example, Berlin, Berlin and Checkpoint Charlie.
Then you order your customized map. When it arrives you can really get in touch
with the city scape by feeling out streets, buildings, parks and water through
the different surface structures we use. But what makes Tracktile really
different to other tactile maps? With Tracktile you can use your ears to
discover even more. There are three different audio layers on the map which can
be activated separately. The first one, which is on every map, includes the
basic information about a city. Like street names, important buildings, and
points of interest. So the second layer is the community layer where you can
access different content, shared and created by other Tracktile users. There
are like helpful informations and reviews. But also sound recordings of the
noises of a city to really feel the atmosphere. But you can also create this
content yourself during your trip, and this content is included in the third
layer, your personal one. You can think and store these audio recordings on to
your map, which makes it easier to relive your memories. And you can also share
them with the community, if you like. So let's have a closer look to Tracktile
in real life. Now you will hear the basic layer, which helps you to prepare
your trip and understand a city layout.
>>
Unter Den Linden.
Pariser Platz, Brandenburger tour.
>> The community layer gives you the possibility to learn more from the blind
and visually impaired community.
>> [German].
Great beer garden and a beautiful park near the river. Checkpoint Charlie:
was quite an experience standing on the border of the Berlin Wall.
It
>> You can use our fully accessible app for sound recordings during your trip.
And you would be surprised how visually impaired people can use smartphones.
[Bells chiming]
[Birds chirping]
[Crowd noise]
[Bird chirping]
>> After your trip, you can sync and store your recordings to your map and use
it to relive and share your memories. Now to Cecile.
[Crowd noise]
[Bells chiming]
[Birds chirping]
>> Now, you've just seen our second prototype in action, but how did we get
there? To evaluate if our concept could be realized, we started prototyping in
an early stage. This is a work-in-progress picture of our first prototype. It
is made of paper and as you can see it's already electronically augmented and
functional. And this is the finished prototype. It shows a map of downtown
Berlin. We did a lot of testing with different papers and structures in order
to explore how to represent streets and how to distinguish buildings from them.
We experimented with braille but we decided against it in the end because we
don't want to exclude those who can't read it. We also have a prototype with us
and we'd love it if you would try them out later in our booth in the open
showcase. So we engaged with the community and got in touch with a lot of
online users on Facebook groups and they gave us insights about orientation and
navigation in the city and traveling with visual impairments. During our first
research phase we met Michael, who is very active in the blind community and who
likes to travel to new places. He tested our first prototype and later also the
others and gave us valuable feedback about distances and sizes on the map layout
and ways to improve them. He also said that this map would help him to prepare
his next journey and that he would understand the street layout and give him
more autonomy in addition to his cane. Also we met with the mobility group of
the Blind and Visually Impaired Association in Berlin, and they gave us
qualified feedback about our form of style and really important fact about
tactile patterns and marks. If you want to learn more about our research, we
have a really detailed documentation on our website, which was Tracktile.co. So
our research led us to our development of the second prototype. And here we
focused more on formal and aesthetic properties like surface structure and the
overall look and feel. We see [indiscernible] and use different patterns for
the different kinds of parks, green spaces and waters. And we varied the sizes
and routes of streets. During our research, we felt that there was a real
demand for a portable version. And so we developed one. We developed a third
prototype which is foldable and fits into your pocket. So you can explore a
city while you are on the go. Well you can try it out later in our booth.
>>
It was just working.
>>
It's too nervous, apparently.
>>
We just tried it back there and it worked.
>> The best thing is to try it out yourself.
[Applause]
>>
It's a nervous map.
Thank you.
>> Just a second. So it was our goal to create more than a tool. It was our
goal to create more than a tool -- a beautiful and aesthetic perhaps even poetic
object, something that has a quality for everyone, whether they're blind,
visually impaired, sighted. And we believe that Tracktile is a beautiful way to
explore a city with your hands and with your ears. Thank you.
[Applause]
>> Thank you, Potsdam. Come see them at the booth today from six to eight so
you can use it. We've seen it work. Now off to the judges comments. Who would
like to start?
>> So thank you very much. That was very nice despite that moment that we've
all had. Absolutely kind of always happens. So I thought one of the
interesting things about that presentation there was sort of like what about
your research. You came in with the research and kind of questions about well
it's a little bit clunky. But then you moved on to it being sort of foldable
and much like a general city map. And I thought the way that you thought
through that process you obviously don't have much time to present but it kind
of showed I'd really like to see that you thought through lots of the issues and
explored them and prototyped it and really kind of pushed that. So I think that
was great. Of course I still have lots of questions about it. And but you have
a website so maybe I should go there. But kind of knowing ->>
You can meet us later in the booth.
>> Or see it in the booth later. I thought it was a really nice project.
You'd also come out both with a sort of functional but also aesthetic thing,
which is really nice to see that you kind of pushed both angles of that and
pushed something that you really tried to make usable by the community that you
were designing for. So that's great.
>> So I love this. I mean, I love this more than I can put to words because
it's exactly what you might imagine I might love especially the community layer,
which -- so I think anytime that you can take something physical or something
that's hardware that can become the center point for the connection for your
community you have an incredibly powerful platform. I'm sure I'm probably going
to pitch you your own idea here, but I think when you -- the cumulative effect,
if you can get this into the hands of the people that need it, and the community
connection point. So first you start off navigating your city, but ultimately
the community layer allows those members to begin to connect. And that
connection point brings like people together. I can tell you beyond a shadow of
a doubt when that occurs in society, it makes the world a better place for the
people that are benefitting from it. So I commend you on this thing. This is
really, really exciting. I'd love to talk to you later about it. But I don't
know, raving reviews, great feedback. I don't know the exact technological
things with it. This is not my field. So you guys know a lot more than me.
But assuming that you can get to a good price point and into the hands of the
demographic, it's very, very exciting, and I love the intention behind the
project. This is just great.
>> Likewise, I'm very, very -- a lot of desire for one of these on my wall -connecting me to a place that I love and I'm sure many people in the audience
would be able to identify with that idea of being sort of somehow connected
through some object, a large-scale wall installation or something. I actually
liked the way you both are helping the clearly disabled user and going after
that use case which is very difficult, and at the same time designing, like
choosing not to include braille is a quite bold choice in this project
particularly to make it more inclusive of everybody, right? So this is
something that both visually impaired and non-visually impaired can both enjoy.
I think there is a question still around the sort of is this for preparation
before learning the city? Or is it for experiencing the city while you've got
the mobile version? Or is it for reflecting on the city? And perhaps in
conclusion there, it's all three and it's equally good at all aspects of that,
which is even more commendable, because you would have thought it would be
specifically sort of dialed into one of these, and I think you've done a good
job making it, address each of those kinds of scenarios. So congratulations.
Great presentation, too, visually.
[Applause]
>> We don't have time for questions.
guys.
Questions later at the booth.
Thank you,
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