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Educating young people who are blind or vision impaired

AnyStyle is Apptastic

Budding digital guru and Year 10 student Daniel came as runner up in the VICTA Apptastic competition, where he designed and put forward his own app for the vision impaired community!

Apptastic, a competition ran by VICTA in partnership with Microsoft and City, University of London, tasked young vision impaired technology designers to come up with a new app which allows the user to recognise people, objects and text in the world.

Daniel, who is an avid technology user and has been a regular at our NCW App Club, jumped at the opportunity and created an entry video which describes his app idea, AnyStyle.

Well done to Daniel, who has put lots of thought and hard work into his app and how to put this forward to the judges! Daniel is chuffed to have come second under the ‘Most Innovative’ category. We caught up with him to find out how he felt!…

How do you feel about coming second in the ‘Most Innovative’ category?

I am humbled and honoured to have come second place in the ‘Most Innovative’ category, and to see people’s’ reactions to AnyStyle. I was checking the number of people who liked the post on Facebook, and it blew my mind that so many people had actually interacted with the post.

What was the inspiration behind the AnyStyle app?

The most recent inspiration for the idea came from an innocent-enough business lesson one day, from a friend. As most good ideas do, AnyStyle seemed to bloom from nowhere, and when I had the opportunity to enter the competition, I felt like I was ready. I had imagined services like AnyStyle in the past, but always found I was unable to articulate effectively what I really wanted, and I think this sudden burst of inspiration helped to spur me on.

Have you had a personal experience which made you think… this should be an app!

I was in love with the idea right from the get-go, and not having the most fashion sense myself, I would find it reassuring to have that second pair of eyes to prevent me from making a complete fool of myself, though apparently I haven’t quite embarrassed myself, yet.

Do you feel there is a gap in the market for apps for VI people in general?

I think many services tailored to a blind or visually impaired audience, (as innovative and useful as they may be) are funded and maintained by small organizations. Therefore, they have to charge a high price for people to use the app. I think it’s unfair to tax blind people for things that their sighted counterparts would be able to do for free in many cases, even though, obviously as a business, they do have to make money somehow.

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