Guest post by Jonathan Hassell, Hassell Inclusion.

Last week I had the privilege of demonstrating a breakthrough technology that aims to improve the learning, Demonstrating uKinect to HRH Prince Andrewemployment and independent living possibilities of people with learning and communication difficulties to His Royal Highness Prince Andrew.

uKinect is an innovative tool which uses Microsoft’s Kinect technology to recognise the Makaton sign language used by people with learning difficulties. It is part of JISC TechDis’ Making Waves SBRI initiative, funded by the Technology Strategy Board and the Department of Business Innovation and Skills.

uKinect is a partnership development between Gamelab UK, Hassell Inclusion and Reflex Arc.  Martin Wright, Director of Gamelab was delighted that His Royal Highness showed so much interest in uKinect on his trip to Accelerator London. Martin and I both have high hopes for uKinect as we evolve it from its successful proof of concept into a working prototype over the next year, and to full commercialisation after that.

I was thrilled to see that Prince Andrew responded to the same combination of innovative sign-recognition, engaging gameplay, and use of ubiquitous consumer equipment as the students with learning difficulties with which we have been user-testing uKinect.

As we take uKinect forwards to realise the huge potential teachers and speech and language therapists have seen in our proof of concept, we need to ensure that we continue to work to understand the needs of our target users and to make sure everything we create works for them.  So we’d like to invite colleges, training organisations and employers that work with people with learning difficulties, people on the autistic spectrum, and people who have communication difficulties after suffering a stroke, to get in touch with us if they’d like to help us shape the future of our innovative product.

If you are interested, please email me, Jonathan Hassell or read more about this and the other SBRI Phase 2 projects.

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