When we stop seeing disability as a weakness, hope is reignited. In SciFY, what we can do is to offer tools to people that will make their life a little bit easier. These are the results of our work.
This summer with your help we gathered the resources to create new games for blind children. In Autumn we created them and the children have already started playing and special schools use them. Could you imagine what new opportunities you made possible?
Our plan had further stages, as you know.
Specialists Education Teachers from around the world have requested to be able to create Memor-i games for education and entertainment, own their own. Variations on themes, variations in other languages, etc.
We continued according to plan and sought resources. Thanks to the funding of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation we can now take this step.
Well, we’re commencing the Memor-i studio!
An application that will allow everyone to make their own Memor-i games for the impaired in vision as well as the sighted, easily and without programming knowledge, and to offer it free to all.
Therefore the work and creativity of one person can be provided freely and free to all, creating a multiplier effect. A game that a Greek makes can be played by blind children in Greece but also in the States, a variation made by a German can be enjoyed in Austria....
Well, no need to say more at the moment. You understand.
We start work and soon you will be informed of the new results!
The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 2005 to continue the benevolent legacy of John S. Latsis. The Foundation plans, manages, and funds programmes that cover a broad range of fields, such as education, science, health, social welfare, culture, arts and the environment, in collaboration with civil society partners and key players within these areas. An additional pillar of the Foundation’s activities is the operation of the Neraida Floating Museum, which, by offering visitors free access and organizing various events, seeks to highlight the maritime and entrepreneurial history of Greece, familiarize youth with the maritime profession, and promote environmental awareness. The Foundation seeks to remain in sync with and respond to current social needs. www.latsis-foundation.org
Like millions of other mobile applications, we use Google Analytics to understand how visitors interact with our system. Google Analytics is a piece of software that grabs data about our users (you). It’s something like an advanced server log.
Google Analytics records things like:
What features of our app you use.
How long you stay on each screen.
What kind of device and operating system you are using.
And quite a bit more: https://www.google.com/policies/privacy/.
The collected information allows us to better understand:
the kind of people who use our application;
the devices and operating systems they mostly appear to use.
The above allow us to better design future versions, enable or disable features and understand our impact.
Occasionally, we may compile aggregate statistics about the number of user we have, as well as a breakdown by country, device, or similar grouping. No personally identifying data is included in this type of reporting.
All of our activity falls within the bounds of the Google Analytics Terms of Service.
The effective date of this policy is Jan 1st, 2017. We will communicate any changes through our website (scify.org) or through the application itself.
Increase of participation of citizens in matters concerning their country and Europe. 1. Organization of seven Conferences - Workshops throughout Europe to achieve the following objectives: 2. Desk research to collect data on how people utilize and exploit crowdsourcing for the purpose of an online repository (Knowledge Center for Digital Democracy). Repository will feature best practice cases, state-of-the-art knowledge and guidelines in citizens-crowdsourcing at the national and European level. 3. Analytical work for preparing policy recommendations on the EU perspective of crowdsourcing including the framework for the crowdsourcing pilot at the EU level based on conclusions from conferences and desk research findings on how (online) crowdsourcing can foster European citizenship, encourage participation of citizens at the Union level and support debate on the Future of Europe. The document will be presented and discussed with relevant EU decision-makers and interested stakeholders. 4. Stakeholders community building in the field of citizens crowdsourcing as part of strategic initiative of civil society organizations aiming to advocate and promote citizens oriented open government and digital democracy at the EU level. The project is aimed at all citizens and the following groups: Individuals and organizations of civil society dealing with: The ultimate goal of this project is to create a sustainable group consisting of citizens and members of civil society which aims to support and promote citizens participation and electronic democracy at European level. On Tuesday, 9th of May 2017 we hosted the International Conference: "Let's Crowdsource the Foture of Europe" in Athens and you can read the Final Report of the Athens Event here and ckeck the keypoints here: Presentation of DemocracIT (crowdsourcing tool) develoiped by SciFY at the 1st Eventfor EUCROWD Project, in Slovenia
Specifically, the project aims:
Institute for Electronic Participation (INePA)
European Citizen Action Service (ECAS)
Stichting Netwerk Democratie
Science For You (SciFY)
The Democratic Society
Increase of participation of citizens in matters concerning their country and Europe.
1. Organization of seven Conferences - Workshops throughout Europe to achieve the following objectives:
2. Desk research to collect data on how people utilize and exploit crowdsourcing for the purpose of an online repository (Knowledge Center for Digital Democracy). Repository will feature best practice cases, state-of-the-art knowledge and guidelines in citizens-crowdsourcing at the national and European level.
3. Analytical work for preparing policy recommendations on the EU perspective of crowdsourcing including the framework for the crowdsourcing pilot at the EU level based on conclusions from conferences and desk research findings on how (online) crowdsourcing can foster European citizenship, encourage participation of citizens at the Union level and support debate on the Future of Europe. The document will be presented and discussed with relevant EU decision-makers and interested stakeholders.
4. Stakeholders community building in the field of citizens crowdsourcing as part of strategic initiative of civil society organizations aiming to advocate and promote citizens oriented open government and digital democracy at the EU level.
The project is aimed at all citizens and the following groups:
Individuals and organizations of civil society dealing with:
The ultimate goal of this project is to create a sustainable group consisting of citizens and members of civil society which aims to support and promote citizens participation and electronic democracy at European level.
On Tuesday, 9th of May 2017 we hosted the International Conference: "Let's Crowdsource the Foture of Europe" in Athens and you can read the Final Report of the Athens Event here and ckeck the keypoints here:
Presentation of DemocracIT (crowdsourcing tool) develoiped by SciFY at the 1st Eventfor EUCROWD Project, in Slovenia
Project “European Citizens Crowdsourcing – EUCROWD” has been funded with the support of the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union.
Agreement/decision number: 20161579
Our team grew with our volunteers!
How is it then, for the first time to be with the children at the tests of games for people who are blind?
"Oh .. now I can’t see you.. where are you?" I said, taking off my glasses. Gregory put on his colorful glasses and said laughing "I see you". Then I woremy glasses and said "ha! And I see you". This game lasted a few minutes, until the laptops of Vassilis and Paul were setup for the children of the Special Primary School for the Blind in Kallithea to try the Memor-i game and record whatever changes are needed in order to improve the game.
Memor-i is an electronic game that is now being developed by SciFY. It's like the game we played when we were young, where you have to find the cards with two identical animals. In our case, it is specially designed to be played by children that are blind or with low vision. For example, it has "doors" which, when opened, you see a small animal and together with the image, you hear the sound it makes, so you can match pairs and win.The children can be navigate in the game with a special interface and soundeffects. At the Elementary School for the Blind in Kallithea, children with impaired vision were to test it, like Gregoris, with whose glasses we played with.
Children that do not see at all also tested it. One of these children is Alice. Vassilis informed us that she had tried both previous games for blind children (LEAP) with excellent results: she was incredibly enthusiastic for the game, and we achieved educational goals, as well. While essentially she does not know how to use a computer, the game became the reason she started to learn, to come into contact with it: without seeing the keyboard, she recognizes and remembers the location of the keys, with which she will be move in the game. As we have learned from our actions so far, this is true for almost all blind children in gradeschool: through the game they start learning about computers.
Success for little Alice is not only in the electronic space of games, as we were informed proudly by her teacher; she has lent her voice to the narration of the story of “Paplomatou”, for which each child has made their own book. This book has pages on which the children have created "images" of various craft scardboard / fabrics and pages on which the text of the story isprinted. Text for the sighted and Braille (Braille Code) for those who do not see at all.
Children who came to help us improve Memor-i, were all so excited that they would do something different in their everyday life, something their mom could do, their dad, their brothers and most of us. Something we take for granted, is anadventure for them. In their voice, you recognized the joy, they did not want the game to end and give their turn to the other children. Even children who had not touched a keyboard before, wanted to try again. When we told them it is at an early stage and we want their help to finish it, the response was outstanding: all of them told us with enthusiasm that the game is perfect and they would play again even at this incomplete stage!
All this communication, in addition to improvements to the Memor-i game, gave us inspiration for other things. Any child we met at the Special Primary School for the Blind in Kallithea, had the well known children's liveliness, the interest to learn new things, enthusiasm to talk to us for everyday things, such as an afternoon walk, or what dream they saw at night! It is nice to hear that even people who do not see the world with the same ease that we do, have their own dreams and plans a colorful future for everyone.
By PatrycjaWeronika Wosiecka
*Names of the children are changed to protect their privacy
Three brand new games for blind people!
Thanks to your support of our crowdfunding campaign, we were able to offer a gift to children.
We developed and offered for free, three electronic games for blind children, in order to help their education and let them have fun. Up to 100 people helped us in this effort by contributing to the crowdfunding campaign. Now we are proud to present our gifts: “Noah’s Ark” and two more educational, musical games that aim to cover the need for games specially designed for blind people. The games are available for free here (in Greek).
The game are based on the well-known memory game in which the player tries to find pairs of identical cards; But in our case, the game is designed for the needs of the blind. Therefore the “cards” are sounds and the interface is specially designed for the blind.
In the first game, the player is in Noah's Ark and tries to find pairs of animals in order to feed them.
In the musical games the player is a valued assistant in a musical performance and learns about the musical instruments. In “Find that musical instrument” game, the player pairs the sounds of the instruments with their names; whereas in “Find the musical instrument category” the player learns their categories.
The games were developed after many discussions and brainstorming sessions with the children and special educators. A great asset of ours was the experience we had gained by developing the first games for blind people earlier in 2015 and the fact that we work closely with the final users. The outcome? The sound, the user experience, the gradual introduction of the player in to the game and initiation of a “friend-guide” in the game, are developed for one reason: to create games suitable for blind children.
We are not going to stop! We are looking for funding to:
For more information contact us.
13th SciFY Academy | Big Data
"From Infrastructure to Implementation"
On Wednesday, October 19th, SciFYΕΕΛΛΑΚ and INNOVATHENS, organized the first seminar of this Academic year on Big Data. Up to 120 people attended the 13th SciFY Academy where Dr. Konstantinos Tsakalozos and Dr. George Giannakopoulos introduced us to the topic of Big Data.
The event opened by Mr. Vassilis Giannakopoulos, Marketing Director & Impact Manager at SciFY, who presented the free and open source assistive technology platform Talk and Play. The project is being developed by SciFY with an exclusive donation from Stavros Niarchos Foundation. This prototype system allows people who have disabilities and also speech difficulties : to communicate, listen to music, watch movies and play tailored-made, specialized games that enhance their skills and can help them recover.
To access the presentation (in Greek) of Mr. Vasilis Giannakopoulos follow the link: http://go.scify.gr/sfacIN13PrVG
In the following session, Dr Konstantinos Tsakalozos, Software Developer - Big Data at Canonical Ltd., started by mentioning the origins of big data and reasons for using big data solution. Data increase as your activities expand. For instance as your business grows it produces increasingly more data. Also, nowadays it is easy to efficiently gather all these large amounts of data. The conventional processing methods, however, are not applicable for storing and processing this kind of data volume. Thus, it is necessary for you and your business to utilize big data technology, in order to process the continually increasing data, effectively. In turn, the generated knowledge will lead to better decision making.
Big Data Software solutions often tend to be complex, requiring staff training and overall are hard to integrate. What we really need, Mr. Tsakalozos informs us, is to lower the operational costs of modeling and implementing your big data solutions.
Mr. Tsakalozos presented the Juju platform from Canonical. Juju builds an ecosystem that enables easy setup and access to infrastructures, including big data systems. This ecosystem allows you to implement applications (charms) in any language (Puppet, Ansible, Bash, Python, Java); to take advantage of applications implemented by other vendors and to collaborate with other providers within the community. To access the presentation of Dr. Konstantinos Tsakalozos follow the link: http://go.scify.gr/sfacIN13PrKT
For more information about juju platform, see:
In the last session of the seminar, Dr. George Giannakopoulos, CTO at SciFY & Researcher at Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications of NCSR Demokritos, referred to the application of big data in a variety of cases, from social media analysis, to bioinformatics and wind turbine proactive maintenance! He stressed that “big data” is not only about “much” data, i.e. the volume is not their only distinctive feature. Other features of data, indicative of a problem of "big data" are also the speed of data change (velocity), the variety of forms and ways data are found (variety), the possibility of their validation (veracity) and the value generated by them, allowing action and reaction (value). Then, Mr. Giannakopoulos referred to the Big Data Europe Project , an international project funded by the EU, which brings 16 organizations from 10 European countries in a partnership for the future of "big data" in Europe. The 7 project development pilots are aligned with the societal challenges of the Horizon 2020 framework , covering domains such as: 1) Health, 2) Food & Agriculture, 3) Energy, 4) Transport, 5) Climate, 6) Social Sciences and 7) Security.
To access the presentation of Dr. George Giannakopoulos follow the link: http://go.scify.gr/sfacIN13PrGG
I cannot even describe how I feel. Anticipation, excitement, joy... About a year of preparation and now the time has come: We have started!
I don’t even know where this journey will take us. But let’s take things from the start, because words are rushing out…
The first time I realized the need when I was in ELEPAP (Rehabilitation for The Disabled) to offer them the remote control that we developed for people with disabilities.
- “Hey guys, can you do something more?” Ria, ELEPAP ergotherapist, told me with agony. “...For our children, who cannot communicate”
- “Tell me…”
- “They cannot tell us what they want, how they feel: They have mobility problems, but more than often their speech isn’t clear as well, some of them cannot speak at all. Do something so that they can tell us what they need, such as a glass of water, something to eat or that they are cold…
- “Hold on Ria, how are they communicating now? There are some communication programs for PCs, aren’t there?”
- “Yes, but this kind of program is expensive. And if you count the cost of the equipment as well… Well, that’s a lot… How many of these parents have enough money in Greece to spare for such a need, in the middle of an economic crisis? Not even we, as ELEPAP, don’t have as much as we need. And this is not all!”
- “What else?”
- “Well, here we do ergotherapy with the children, a great job is being done, and the program you mentioned earlier is helping us a lot, but when they get back home... the work stops… The hours are not enough in their everyday routine, progress is very slow”
- “Wait a moment, what do you mean? When they are home, how do they communicate with their parents, how do they exercise?”
- “The situation is very difficult Vassilis…”
I left puzzled.
“Who has the money?” Thinking about the agony of the parents: they want their kids to be able to communicate, to exercise more in order to be more efficient, or even self sufficient, but…
Some time later, the same need was described to me by Dimitra, an ergotherapist at Evaggelismos Hospital. This time it did not regard children. She was talking with great concern about adults that are being treated at the Increased Care Unit (ICU).
"Many of those people can not move or speak. As long as they are in the ICU, I can understand what they want with the help of a program and a special button that they click in any way they can. But, when they leave, how will they be able to communicate with their families? How will they say "I have itchy feet" or "Rearrange my bedding"? These systems are expensive"
Again the same question: "Who has the money?"
The same issue came up also with Aristotle, a very active ergotherapist at KKPPA (Social Care Centre in Attica). We heard the same thing over and over again from all ergotherapists we spoke with…
The team immediately started working on it. We experimented for some time, we studied in detail what is already available, what we can do ... We even prepared pilot solutions...
So, when we submitted a funding proposal to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, our anxiety was greater than ever. The need is enormous, will the proposal be approved?
And it was approved. Approved! The people of the Foundation understood and shared our concerns. So here we are... we begin!
We are working intensively, we are already ahead of schedule: We are developing “Talk and Play”. A system that we will be concluding in autumn and will be offering for free to everyone. With this software program people with mobility limitations, or facing problems with speech, will be able to:
- Choose music or video on their PC
- Train and exercise for their rehabilitation under the instructions of their ergotherapist.
We will create and offer a ready-to-use solution (software program built in a PC and a special operating system) to our partners: ELEPAP (Rehabilitation for The Disabled), Recovery Laboratory of Athens Medical School (Evaggelismos Hospital), Social Care Centre of Attica, and to parents and their kids.
In order to have it at home, for their family.
Because, we don’t want “money” to be the problem anymore, at least in this case. We’ll do our best. And that’s a promise being kept.
The project is being developed by SciFY
with exclusive donation from Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
Patients and people with disabilities have to deal with a lot of difficulties in their everyday lives. Some of the most common problems are:
There are plenty of solutions in the field of Assistive Technologies to make their life better. However, they usually are too expensive, or so complicated, that they become inaccessible to patients and people with disabilities.
The result is that these people are isolated and aren’t properly or not at all rehabilitated, and this has physical and mental implications for them and their environment.
Talk and Play is a system that allows people with disabilities to:
This way, they are able to communicate, listen to music, watch movies and train for a quicker rehabilitation.
Our main goal was to drastically reduce the total cost of the solution. How we achieved this:
But we would like to have a significant impact. This is why:
Talk and Play is addressed to:
Apart from the groups - end users described above, Talk and Play benefits also:
In this effort we have valuable collaborators: the Recovery Laboratory of the Athens Medical School (Evaggelismos Hospital), ELEPAP, K.K.P.P.A. (Social Care Centre of Attica) ans the Foundation KASP-Hatzipaterio.
With years of experience and expertise in this field, they have a key role in:
For Windows here (in Greek):
For Linux here (in Greek):
|Installation instructions: here (in Greek)||Installation instructions: here (in Greek)|
|Use instructions: here (in Greek)||Use instructions: here (in Greek)|
In the following table is the development cost of the prototype solution: Talk and Play in Raspberry PI with wireless switch.
For every item and for every design of the 3D printing, the link leads to the supply source (open hardware).
|Raspberry Pi 3 Model B||41,70€|
|Polymer Lithium Ion Battery - 3.7v 550mAh||8,00€|
|SparkFun USB LiPoly Charger - Single Cell||17,50€|
|SANDISK SDSQUNC-016G-GN6IA ULTRA MICRO SDHC 16GB||8,90€|
|Raspberry Pi 3 case with VESA mounts **||2,00€|
|Power Supply 5V 2.5A||9,90€|
|Files stl for the 3D printing *||4,00€|
|Talk and Play Software||0,00€|
|Total cost||116,65 €|
* Cost of 3D printing in case that the user has 3D printer
** SciFY has designed a special 3D print file for Rpi 3 top case with the SciFY logo
Talk and Play has been completed successfully and the results surpassed our expectations.
The project was developed by SciFY with an exclusive donation from Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
On Wednesday the 13th of April, at 19:00, more than 120 people attended the 10th SciFY Academy which was organised by SciFY and the Hub of Innovation and Entrepreneurship of the Technopolis City of Athens - Innovathens, on the topic of “Internet of Things - From an idea to an international market”. SciFY Academy is a free, series of presentations which aims to promote the free diffusion of knowledge, conducted by the Non Profit Organisation SciFY.
The event’s first speaker was Chrysostomos Bouras, member of the “TheThingsNetwork Athens” community. He presented his team’s (GRIot) effort in expanding a network of Internet of Things in Athens which will belong exclusively to citizens/volunteers.
Afterwards, Lefteris Papageorgiou, CEO of Entranet, with his vast experience in the area of new technologies introduced us to the world of Internet of Things (Iot) using the “house from the future” as an example.
An expected question is “what exactly does the house of the future have that makes it different than ordinary residences?” The answer is that you can have full control of the house through voice commands. Indicatively we will mention voice recognition: for example you will be able to speak to the elevator and tell it on which floor you wish to get off or just the profession of the person you wish to visit. Few of us know that the residents of a ‘smart” house will have access to services such as an electronic information bank which will be updated with biometric information, it will remind you of your medical needs and will offer you the possibility of immediate communication with medical centers.
Furthermore we were informed about the basic steps that must be done to promote an innovative business idea:
Step 1: Build your team
Step 2: Learn your market
Step 3: Calculate the time you will need to enter the market
Step 4: Calculate the cost
Step 5 : Conduct a Business Plan and stick to it
Step 6: Breakdown the Structure
Step 7 : Find the capital
Step 8 : Think of alternative funding sources
We would like to thank Lefteris Papageorgiou, Chrysostomos Bouras, INNOVATHENS and of course all our friends who attended the event making interesting comments and questions, contributing once more in realising our dream of free knowledge diffusion!