|Benetech Labs Pipeline. Last updated 12/2/2016|
|SecureApp||Late Stage||A tool based on Benetech's Martus technology to allow users involved in data collection efforts to create their own write-only, open source data collection applications with end-to-end encryption, under their own branding, "Powered by Martus." The goal is to address the general need for secure data collection apps, with a solid backend for collecting, analyzing and reporting on the data.|
|MathML Cloud||Late Stage||A cloud-based app that automatically creates accurate images and image descriptions of mathematical expressions, while retaining the detailed math markup for reference. It allows content developers to accurately express digitized math and render it through visual display and alternative access means, such as synthetic speech and braille.|
|Code Alliance||Late Stage||A program to link highly skilled technical volunteers with nonprofits that develop open source software for social impact.|
|Poet Image Description Training Module||Mid Stage||expand our current training platform to provide more guidelines and interactive tools for content authors looking to make diagrams/images accessible.|
|Alternate Reality Game (ARG) for security training||Mid Stage||Simulated platform where a user or organization can opt-in for training. Over the course of the game, the user will be contacted over various mediums by a simulated peer. In order to get the next piece of information, the user needs to set up various secure communications protocols. Upon successful completion of the game, the user/organization has set-up all tools needed for security.|
|In Plain Sight Markov Chain Driven Encryption||Mid Stage||Utilizing markov-chain logic and an agreed upon body of literature + passphrase to encrypt text into human readable text. Ex) The phrase 'meet me at eight' when run through Shakespeare encryption may read 'Whether it is far nobler to be or not to be'. This text can be posted as plain text to any technology platform (or physical medium) and network filtering/monitoring wouldn't know to be suspect of it.|
|Math Support Finder||Mid Stage||user-facing webapp to help users figure out setup configurations, along with additional technologies, required on their device to support accessible reading of content containing MathML.|
|authentIcon||Mid Stage||Authentication of crypto keys using icons rather than numbers. Unique icon represents number string. Allows same level of security with greater ease.|
|Accessible Image Repository/Registry||Mid Stage||Resource for those using and making accessible content to find and share accessible digital images in a variety of modalities, including tactile files, audio files, 3D printer files, text description.|
|MathIO||Early Stage||End to end math equation authoring and reading system. Creating and manipulating digital equations is difficult and often information is discarded in the publishing process. Useful for all who use online learning environments, but especially helpful for students with disabilities.|
|Help activists to fill out strict reporting forms||Early Stage||From David B. , Design an easy to use interface into which activists can enter sections of relevant data. The tool will then format, render, and submit the report in the correct/required method to comply with standards. This could be useful for things like UN Universal Periodic Review report.|
|3D Printing for Health Education||Early Stage||Use 3D printing to meet needs of students requiring 3d models for health/reproductive education (e.g., students who are blind or have other disabilities). Kids with visual impairments have trouble accessing pictures and video. Although image descriptions and captioning help, hands on exploration of objects is the ideal way to learn especially in sex education. Researchers at Northern Illinois University have been focused on this issue for some time but think that 3D models will address the gap picture representation and very expensive anatomical models. NIU can consult on what TVIs need to educate blind kids around sex ed but they do not have the resources to design, distribute or store these models in a repository. Additionally this work could be used in developing countries. Lots to explore.|
|3D Printing for Accessible Education||Early Stage||Tools for making 3D printing more useful and easier for teachers and students looking to make and use accessible educational objects. Including a teacher-friendly repository of customizable learning objects, linkages to ebooks, metadata, trainings and design/print services.|
|Poverty Stoplight app with office and data mgmt||Exploratory||An Android tablet questionnaire to be completed by microcredit clients (or other poor people) to assess their own dimensions of poverty. Helps groups focus on the specific poverty issues rather than generic (raising income does not fix all aspects of poverty). Visual questionnaire with some workflow capability.|
|Automated descriptions for images||Exploratory||automated extraction of key information from diagrams and images|
|EPUB Accessibility Certification/Checker||Exploratory||facilitate review of how EPUB3 files match up against accessibility best practices. This is critical if we are to build out a Benetech certification program, but very specific to EPUB files. |
can maybe leverage some of the Poet File Checker (https://diagram.herokuapp.com/image_book/image_check) that we had previously developed.
|Interactive system for legal advice||Exploratory||provides information, notification, reminders and provide step by step guidance through complex legal situations such as immigration hearings, asylum hearings, application processes. SMS with natural language and multi-language capalities.|
|Video management and processing for human rights||Exploratory||Video management and processing system with these components: |
Create a central repo for the collection, processing, and search of timecoded tags for videos. This repo can aggregate tags generated by machines or humans and can help searchers connect to the organization holding the source video. Animated word clouds of the timecoded labels can also be generated.
A human rights organization can upload a bowdlerized video or video frames which can be distributed on an online platform for geoidentification. Similar to GeoGuesser, the crowd will pick the estimated location from a map and the aggregate/average location will by offered to the original uploader"
Platform that allows human rights organizations to add descriptive metadata and tags to their media and submit that data to a searchable repository. In this manner organizations can share details amongst partners without exposing the source media. A human rights organization can upload a bowdlerized video or video frames which can be distributed on an online platform for geoidentification. Similar to GeoGuesser, the crowd will pick the estimated location from a map and the aggregate/average location will by offered to the original uploader
|Service Referral Tools and Info Management||Exploratory||Social services referral decision tree |
Social services referral app for victims of violence and abuse
App for crowd-sourcing keeping social service referral data up to date
|Activism Sensor Platform to Prepare for Demonstrations||On Our Radar||When activists know they are about to enter a potentially dangerous situation such as a political demonstration, can we provision a set of useful sensors to aid in implicit data capture? |
Bluetooth Signature Capture
Live Streaming video
Mesh networking routers
|BridgeBuilder||On Our Radar||App to connect strangers face-to-face for conversation about any topic. Designed to foster empathy, compassion and understanding among different groups of people.|
|audio nets||On Our Radar||Distributed audio sensor network connecting mobile data or a satellite phone network. Could be a "shot-spotter for artillery," figuring out where mortar shells hitting a hospital in Aleppo are coming from.|
|Activism/Movement Management Platform - "Mom's Rising (BLM)"||On Our Radar||A platform to be used by activists of a particular movement for planning, communication, and information dissemination. |
Many similar platforms are cropping up, but in an extremely ad-hoc manner:
We could build an extensible platform that can be used by many organizations with similar needs.
Basic need-finding documentation has been provided by Mom's Rising.
|sensor-based reporting of accessibility||On Our Radar||Sensors in canes, wheelchairs, service dog vests, phones, and/or other devices that can report physical hindrances in the environment and automatically report them to central map. Could also report those hindrances directly to the people who own those environments and can make a change. Sensor data could be coupled with biometric data to detect distress or anxiety around hindrance.|
|anti-hate tools||On Our Radar||Tools to help train students to invalidate hate and intolerance.|
|public registry of legal aid cases||On Our Radar||Public registry of documentation around legal aid cases that authorized entities could query to find commonalities in cases that would otherwise be siloed. For instance, if a landlord has multiple cases against him. Could apply a clustering ai to look for similarities in data and cluster cases based on conceptual alignment. Possible use of blockchain as registry?|
|document repository for asylum cases||On Our Radar||Repository of corroborating evidence that has been successfully used in asylum cases (e.g., letters from organizations detailing the risk of certain individuals in particular regions). Allows attorneys representing asylum seekers to share evidence that may be useful in multiple cases.|
tool to monitor and track war criminals and other gross human rights offenders
|On Our Radar||Tool to make the monitoring of suspects' movements more effective. For example, GVA Dictator Alert (@GVA_watcher). Its goal is to make public the arrivals in and departures form Geneva airport of planes from repressive countries (for more, see for example: http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/13/13243072/twitter-bot-tracks-dictator-planes-geneva-gva-tracker).@GVA_watcher seems to be one of the examples of how new technologies can help in documenting where suspects might be traveling|
|tactile maps and/or floor plans for public restrooms||On Our Radar||Blind individuals often find it difficult to navigate a public restroom they're not familiar with and often are not accompanied by someone who can help provide additional information about the position of standard objects such as: sinks, urinals, stalls, doors, trash, and hand dryers. This can result in a rather unsanitary experience. There should be an easy way to provide a template that can produce an accessible resource.|
|Map-based phonebook for remote areas||On Our Radar||People working in the field or temporary housing situations (e.g. refugee camps, disaster relief) need offline access to a map that provides information about key individuals in a particular area. Tools like Google Maps allow sharing between known individuals and there are plenty of maps of businesses and offices for more established institutions, but there doesn't seem to be an easy solution for more pop-up or temporary situations where things are changing rapidly.|
|Facebook Check-Ins for Obsfuscation/Solidarity||On Our Radar||Saw this story today: http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/31/us/standing-rock-facebook-check-ins/index.html |
Police were allegedly using FB check-ins to Standing Rock in order to target protester identities as a method for enforcing trespassing laws. The general public then started to flood the check-ins in order to confuse any efforts to identify protesters through FB.
The could potentially be developed into a Bot or something similar to more easily assist in dissemination of material (auto repost/retweet of content to avoid supression) or auto-check-ins to confuse tracking efforts.
Platform to collection in-kind donation requests from potential beneficiaries/recipients
|On Our Radar||In-kind donations are often directed top-down; this solution would provide a bottoms-up approach for individuals to specify their exact needs.|
Data escrow for unaddressed problems in medical record management
|On Our Radar||A few problems that I was thinking about recently: |
Although HIPAA mandates 'reasonable and efficient' patient access to their own health records, this is still far from reality. This is a big problem, and likely too bogged down with bureaucracy for anyone really be successful. A solution in this space would involved massive cooperation between thousands of health systems and electronic health record vendors to interoperate within a single standard.
That being said, there are some weird, adjacent problems that remain largely unaddressed.
Behavioral Health and HIV/AIDS records. As a part of HIPAA and further extended by several states' laws, there is a requirement that Behavioral Health and HIV/AIDS related information remain separated from other medical records. Depending on the laws of that region, the electronic medical records system used by a doctor should not mix medical records with HIV or Mental Health related information. Practically, what this means is that when a patient's medical history is requested by a third party, other healthcare professional, or insurance company special approval must be given by the patient in order to release these other data types. Doctors may also overrule these structures if someone's safety is at risk.
With mental health notes in particular, this information is actually outside the 'reasonable and efficient' patient access rights of HIPAA. The thinking being that doctors should feel free to record their observations about a patient's mental well being without worrying about the patient reading the notes or attempting retribution of any kind. Due to the complexities here many EMR systems forbid collection of mental health notes or do so in a unsupported manner.
On a potentially related note, many individual private-practice doctors operate without electronic records. Especially in the world of behavioral health, patient health notes are usually kept on paper. Many of these providers run their entire practice alone (even out of their own house at times) and almost no one has access to their records. The same trend is prevalent in travel medicine, home medicine, and rural health clinics. Upon a doctor's death, incapacitation, or retirement the handoff and access to this information becomes very difficult. Should other medical providers be able to access the data with a patient's consent? Should the patient have access to their own records? Should the patient get access to their behavioral health notes? After what time period? Who makes the distinction of safely overruling the behavioral/HIV restrictions when the original doctor is no longer able?
Victims of human trafficking, need secure, mobile networks to exchange key information with advisors helping them
|On Our Radar|
|Providing jobs for individuals with various types of disabilities||On Our Radar||Many Individuals with disabilities have trouble finding jobs (http://www.ocecd.org/Downloads/Natl%20Autism%20Indicators%20Report%20April%202015.pdf). Similar to Girls Who Code (https://girlswhocode.com/), could we be working with existing organizations to develop curriculum targeted at individuals with disabilities. |
Secondary School Programs and Performance of Students With Disabilities A Special Topic Report of Findings From the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2), http://ies.ed.gov/ncser/pubs/20123000/pdf/20123000.pdf
The Post-High School Outcomes of Young Adults With Disabilities up to 8 Years After High School. A Report From the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2), http://ies.ed.gov/ncser/pubs/20113005/pdf/20113005.pdf
|Virtual Timecards for wage theft reporting||On Our Radar||Often Migrants are taken advantage of by their employers,forcing them to work additional unpaid hours. Employees may not be aware of their rights, or more likely may be fearful of retribution by employers (which is illegal, but illegal things happen everyday). Even undocumented workers are afforded these rights, but may fear exercising them because of their lack of citizen status (they are protected, but perception is reality). Many employees also don't track their actual hours, and it is not seen as something to be prioritized. |
A possible solution involves a GPS sourced record of time spent by employees at their place of employment (as determined by a geofence). The information can be de-identified, cleaned of statistical outliers, and aggregated across multiple locations/workers (for a restaurant chain for instance). This cleaned and anonymous data can be kept in escrow (Similar to Callisto https://www.projectcallisto.org/) and only reported in aggregate once a particular threshold of data points is reached.
The escrow release model will need to be discussed in detail. It can do something that optimizes for identity protection, in the same way that glassdoor only reports average salaries once it has more than X samples. It can also attempt to report every worker taken advantage of, by offering statistics on a regional basis (by zip code for instance). This could force the hand of govt regulators to address the problem in their region.
Actual Time: google/apple almost certainly know how many hours people spend at work.
Reported time: Those employees who get paid through W2 or 1099 have federal records of hours.
platform for selling products and crafts created by refugees based domestically
|On Our Radar||There are many organizations that ensure fair-trade imports from abroad abroad and local crafts/maker platforms like Etsy, but there seems to be a lack of resources for refugees looking to generate income in our local communities.|
|Determine optimal garbage can placement||On Our Radar||I believe many cities suffer from a lack of available garbage receptacles, which can lead to an increase in litter when people aren't presented with an easy option. |
Municipalities may not feel they have the available funds to put a garbage can on each corner, so the problem may go unsolved.
I think there may be a way to identify the biggest 'bang for your buck' locations for garbage cans that will result in the biggest decreases in litter.
Possible solutions may include a method of assessing current litter levels by region through sensors or crowdsourced reports.
Another solution can be to set up temporary garbage cans throughout the cities on a rotating basis to graph which cans resulted in the highest levels of trash, and build more permanent receptacles in those areas.
This problem is partially met by something like http://bigbelly.com/solutions/. Solar trash cans which are covered (prevent wind blown litter) and report back data on fullness. However, there is still large cost and 'permanent'-ness that may prevent municipalities from using that system.
|Text communications everywhere!||On Our Radar||The idea that nonprofit groups need a unified text-based messaging solution keeps coming up. Whether it's for election protection (Lawyers Committee), engaging with victims (Polaris), counseling (Crisis Text Line) or simply improved tech support options through chatbots, it's clear that nonprofits that think in terms of toll-free hotlines need to update their tech. An ideal solution would unify SMS, FB Messenger, WhatsApp, web messaging into a single coherent tool, which could utilize a blend of chatbot scripts and human response as appropriate.|
|Streaming video app to live stream human rights violations (Hydra)||On Our Radar||Based on our recent discussions (w/ John, Anh), a streaming video app would allows its users to live stream incidents and: |
a. Protect the privacy of the user
b. Allow for a decentralized streaming wherein a single authority would be unable to "take down" the stream.
Goal is to help individuals and human right organization safely live stream violations and incidents.
Things to think about:
- Is there a real need. Are Facebook and twitter based streaming services enough ?
- Maintaining a live stream service is hard
- Maintaining quality of streams is very hard
- Should this be an open-source code base for other organization rather than a service ?
- Additional component with social aspects:
-Once a stream is started, someones social network could receive a call to action to peer-to-peer cast the video.
-These additional branches could then trigger their social networks creating a wider array of peers
-This should create a 'hydra'-like effect
|LinkedIn for Trade||On Our Radar||There are lots of instances where a person might only be comfortable exchanging information or goods within a specific network or community. These exchanges often occur using some combination of money and/or bartering of goods (all money, all goods, or partial money/goods). We need to develop a specific communities of networks that facilitate these changes, which sometimes also involve a services of activities. |
Potential use cases include:
* Apache trade (e.g. precious stones production before trade, bison exchange)
* Apache barter system for goods (e.g. going to a market and trading one good without the involvement of a federal currency)
* Emergency relief (e.g. donation tracking & distribution for individual beneficiaries and donors)
* Migratory camps (e.g. barter for goods, local resources)
* Venezuela (e.g. barter of goods and services in areas with hyper-inflation)
|Object detection and alerting system||On Our Radar||While walking with a blind person on the streets, he kept walking into lower-hanging branches. An object detection mechanism to help people with visual impairments from walking into such things. (like car sensors)|
|Best Business' identification for poverty graduation participants||On Our Radar||Village Enterprise has developed a small tool (the SMART tool) that allows participants in their poverty graduation programs to identify the small business opportunity that has the best chance of success in their region. |
VE has expressed that they "don't want to be in the technology business" and would be interested into transferring ownership of the tool.
Possible Advancements to the platform:
* Integration of machine learning around past success with given variables
* Integration with market pricing, climate, and competition data
* Input from regional experts highly weighted into machine learning model
* Integration of supply chain integration to optimize for reduce transit of goods
* Possible integration with satellite imagery to identify crop yields in the region in past years
|Quickbooks for the global south & poverty graduation||On Our Radar||Came out of conversation with Village Enterprise and Trickle Up. |
After the 'poorest of the poor' are included in a poverty graduation program, it's difficult for these organizations to track the success of their efforts 1 year out, 5 years out, etc.
The idea is to create a basic record keeping and financial tracking application for the businesses that are established through these programs. The graduation programs with train participants on this technology. Additionally the organization will retain access (or some version of access) to data entered into the platform.
If the platform is valuable enough, the clients will continue to use the tool throughout the life of their business. This can provide valuable M&E data to the parent organizations, and also provide potential opportunities for follow-up trainings in response to results.
There is also an expressed need for data access (or summative dashboards) to third party entities like UN, World Bank, and other funders.
|Make coaching efforts in poverty graduation programs more efficient||On Our Radar||We talked to a few poverty graduation groups (Village Enterprise and Trickle Up) about their process and gaps they may experience. |
A short summary of their process:
* Have potential clients self-define their poverty level (similar to Poverty Stoplight)
* Group up several 'poorest of the poor' into a group cohort
* Assign each individual a financial coach who provides info/training
* Identify business opportunity that best fits environment/capability
* Group now can provide support/advice to each other; coaches manage group
They need a way to help coaches do their job more efficiently to assist with scale. Particularly there are needs around conveying info to the clients. There is also a focus on distributing learnings across coaches in a particular region/subject area.
For example a coach may be an agricultural expert, but due to the infertility of the region may need to recommend a different business model. They would like a mechanism for this coach to be able to learn about a different business model (textile creation for example) potentially in exchange for agricultural advice in a different region.
|Universal Access frontend for EMR Patient Portals||On Our Radar||Discussion with UCSF and Zuckerberg Hospital about research they conducted showing a major barrier to health outcomes is literacy/tech literacy required for interaction with available patient portals. |
They ran a study where they did high-touch training with individuals in how to use existing portals. Showed some small population data about improved health outcomes. Wanted to build a new accessible frontend for the patient portal.
Walked through some of the major legal considerations around HIPAA and HITECH compliance, and some practical considerations around interoperability between several EMR vendors. Also the risk of incurring wrath from these vendors as well.
|Software for Indigenous Communities||On Our Radar||Indigenous communities have specific needs around resource-allocation and sovereign systems for finance and communication. Specifically, the Apache are looking into how financial technology along with encrypted communication systems can help them track their trade, as well as create automatic "archive" of their culture via emails they send to one another.|
|Accessible machine-readable data visualizations||On Our Radar||Data visualizations aren't commonly accessible, and alternate representations such as data tables are too hard for blind people to use effectively. By extending the ARIA attribute vocabulary to include the well-defined visual language around data visualizations (such as bar, pie, and line charts) and adding the structured data directly into the data visualizations, we make the data explorable and interactive for screenreader users. And beyond that, small data (that is, human-scale data) is most commonly distributed not through raw data sets, but through dataviz on websites, news articles, scientific papers, and social media, and making it machine-readable makes it available to search engines and conversational digital assistants (such as Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, Google Now, and Amazon Alexa), and to data extraction and remixing, which reinforces the broad utility and makes more data accessible.|
|3D printing kiosk for teeth||On Our Radar||Portable kiosk for creating temporary partial dentures. Can be deployed at mobile dentistry clinics for people in need.|
|Human Rights at Home||On Our Radar||Part of the problem for media related to Human Rights abuses is the opportunity for processing often doesn't mesh with the sector's technical literacy levels, financial restrictions, and privacy mandates. |
Even if existing solutions exist, often these organizations can't afford, maintain, or trust those platforms.
Could we build a system that uses donated processing power to perform distributed machine analysis on human rights media (such as audio, videos, or satellite imagery)?
* Can we shard the source data to protect the privacy of info contained within the media in a near zero-knowledge model?
* Can we encrypt the shards and use homomorphic encryption to still perform analysis on the encrypted info?
* Can we use Differential Privacy techniques to fuzz the data in the system to prevent individual shards from being personally identifiable?
* Can we use blockchains to store the intrashard relational data and relation between shards and authoring organization?
* Can we use fuzzed data as honeypots to detect bad nodes and automatically 'heal' the processing network?
* Encrypted Shard Distribution: https://storj.io/
* Differential Privacy: http://blog.cryptographyengineering.com/2016/06/what-is-differential-privacy.html
* Microtasking: https://www.theengineroom.org/what-weve-learned-about-microtasking-and-introducing-our-new-library/
* Folding at home: https://folding.stanford.edu/
|Self Repairing Concrete||On Our Radar||https://www.facebook.com/speakupnw/posts/10154992301509251 |
In addition to the obvious use-case of fixing potholes and cracks in roads, could self-repairing concrete be used to help quickly build shelters in developing countries.
|Conch Conservation in Bahamas||On Our Radar||Labs Team, |
Someone has just submitted an idea for the Labs Pipeline!
1. Whats your idea in a few sentences? Feel free to add links to background info as needed.
Not sure how we could help, but maybe there is some technology which could help repopulate the conch shell which is a major food source for the people of Bahama amongst others.
This showed up in my Facebook feed and thought it was interesting problem that maybe could be solved.
Here is a video and links to the conservation efforts already in place.
2. How much social impact do you think this idea could have? Select one.
A lot of impact
3. What does the market opportunity for this idea look like? Is there a market for this that no one else is addressing or likely to address?
Some players already in market; medium market size
4. How achievable is this idea for Benetech? (How well-equipped are we to succeed? Where we have gaps, can we find good partners to fill them?)
5. How fundable is this idea?
6. Do we have an internal champion who might be willing to run with this idea?
7. Who are potential partners or collaborators? Tell us if you already have some contact with that person/entity that we can leverage.
Bahamas National Trust
8. Add any comments that can help us get a better picture of the problem, users, or opportunity. The more info you have, the better we can collectively judge whether the idea should be pursued.
9. Please list the names of everyone submitting this idea.
[Created via e-mail received from: Labs Pipeline Idea Submission <email@example.com>]
|Zapable Zine||On Our Radar||Problem: Replacing printed material that puts readers and distributors at risk |
Human Rights organizations we spoke with identified the distribution of printed material as the most dangerous part of their work. Printers, distributors and readers are put at risk by having the physical copy of subversive or independently created content.
Potential Solution: Digital media sharable offline
This idea would shift the content of news or fan zines to digital form passable to others via local wifi or Bluetooth (for example using Zapya or other such peer to peer sharing app that enables transfer from one mobile phone to another). The app would not replace the many software available to design digital content but rather serve as a platform to securely store it on one's device and share it with others. The move to digital form would could also facilitate more interaction such as allowing for reader comments and mechanisms send analytics or opinions to creators.
|Anonymous File Courier App||On Our Radar||Problem: Transferring large files out of areas of limited internet access |
As multimedia capture of important human rights content becomes more common and grows in the volume, activists increasingly face challenges securely saving, organizing and sharing such content so that it can be used to advance their cause. This is particularly the case for those working in Cuba where the time and expense required to upload or physically transport large files is a barrier.
Potential Solution: File Courier App and Web Interface
This app would allow large files to be transferred from those without access to internet connection to those with access and would shift payment for file upload to the receiver. By using anonymous segmented file transfer over local WiFi, anyone with the app becomes a courier. Large data files can be imported to the app, where they are then broken into encrypted, transferable pieces with their destination user specified. Anyone with the app connects anonymously with other app users on the same WiFi network or within a certain physical range using local WiFi or Bluetooth connections. At connections, file segments are transferred based on user settings. Anyone could be a sender or collector. When collectors connect to the internet, they upload the segments they have retrieved and receive the corresponding portion of the reward for each file.
|Mobile Tactile Transportation Maps||On Our Radar||Convert the tactile maps made by Lighthouse for the Blind in (SF) to a more convenient, mobile app (think google maps but verbally instructing blind user how to get where they want to go, that also communicates things like stairs, accessible areas, etc.) |
|Natural Synthetic Voices||On Our Radar||Develop synthetic voices to sound like naturally speaking voices. I frequently hear at conferences and in our satisfaction surveys that members would like the voices to sound more natural in whatever reading tool they use for Bookshare. If you are able to achieve this cross platform, then it could also be potentially licensed to companies like Apple, etc, and bring in a revenue stream to Benetech. This is bigger picture for any accessible device that reads text, etc. to people.|
|Skills training for refugee women||On Our Radar||REcharge Initiative is a non-profit organization that seeks to empower refugee women in the United States by providing them with an opportunity to build marketable technological skills and obtain employment in the Bay Area. REcharge Initiative seeks to achieve these outcomes by: |
1. Hosting workshops and planned classes to teach refugee women technology skills related to fields such as web development, graphic design and data science.
2. Providing these students with nanodegree certifications, including Microsoft Office Specialization (MOS), W3Schools HTML/CSS/JS, and Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) certifications, to legitimize their skills and trainings.
3. Connecting these women to employers in the Bay Area in order to ensure that they will be able to make a lasting impact in industry using the skills that they have acquired.
Our solution recognizes that refugees, especially refugee women face significant obstacles in gaining employment and assimilating and we seek to tackle this, as well as the gender imbalances in the tech industry.
|Easier passwords for people with print disabilities or children||On Our Radar||a. Do further research into "unconscious" data for passwords. |
b. Research other alternatives to memorizing a string to add layers of protection to simple passwords, like choosing a sequence of images
|Accessibility Shame Report||On Our Radar||Shame report website/blog for software providers and web sites who have poor accessibility. Allows people to upload stories, which may get voted up reddit or stack-overflow-style. The goal is for stories to go viral which will generate some pressure to fix the software.|
|Referral service on where to buy accessible||On Our Radar||best practice guidelines provided to/for decision-makers regarding the purchase of accessible educational materials|
|Mobile Poet for Math||On Our Radar||Real-time access to math, for situations like classroom learning where print disabled students might need immediate transcription of math content.|
|Accessible PDFs||On Our Radar||Automated tagging and transcription of content (text, math) and structure (regions, tables, lists, headers, etc.) for PDFs.|
|Real-time crime/harassment reporting||On Our Radar||"realtime reporting of issues/crimes/harassment, i.e., at the airport or on a subway. |
|Miradi for Earthquakes and disasters||On Our Radar||Global models have assembled massive amounts of information on EQ vulnerability/hazard around the world, but communities at risk don't know how to use this highly technical information to prepare for or prevent impacts. EQ Risk Mitigation tool would walk users step-by-step through (a) identifying their risk profile and (b) correlating that profile with affordable mitigation strategies that work.|
|Tech Heroes for seniors and high-school students||On Our Radar||Work with seniors and high school students with the tech heroes project|
|BetterAccent||On Our Radar||Using BetterAccent for disabled. Accent correction services for people with speaking disabilities.|
|GPS for crosswalk assistance||On Our Radar||Designing a product that will allow the impaired to safely cross the cross-walks, like any other person|
|blindradio.com||On Our Radar||Looking for partner for radio products for blind/visually impaired|
|Tongue Touch Keypad||On Our Radar||Reinvention of a 18 year old technology, the "newAbilities" tongue touch keypad (TTK), which allows quads with no voice to drive wheelchairs and access the computer/internet independently using just the tongue|
|Braille Label Maker||On Our Radar||Braille label maker (www.braillelabeler.net), designed for the blind to use independently and with ease|
|The eye-hub network||On Our Radar||The objective of the eye hub network is to use existing infrastructure (mobile device, internet...) to improve eye care services.|
|Virtual assistance glasses||On Our Radar||A virtual assistance program for blind people, with a web cam, mounted on glasses, which allows a sighted person to view the blind person's surroundings and provide assistance. A Google Glass style product.|
|The LD Channel||On Our Radar||The LD Channel would be a website formatted much like a television network that would provide information to parents of children with learning disabilities through audio and video formats. This would be a reformatting of the way that most information is currently presented (online text) because parents often have challenges themselves with text-based information presentation.|
|Geek giving||On Our Radar||Geek giving: a service that allowed participants to set up a monthly charge to their credit card and then apportioned that out to a specific set of worthy, verified, 501c3 organizations in the technology space. For example, I'd set it up to charge me $50 per month, and I could tell it to send $10 to the FSF, $20 to the EFF, and $20 to Apache|
|Open source courts||On Our Radar||Develop an open source system for running a national/regional/local court system.|
|A tracking system for implantable devices||On Our Radar||Way to track implantable devices http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/01/04/defibrillator.implants.study/index.html?hpt=T2|
|BeneCore/BenePlatform||On Our Radar||Bene*Core is a standard set of operating principles, procedures and best practices that make it easier for a group to spend less time reinventing them and instead focus on their expertise. Bene*Platform is a standard software platform the nonprofit can leverage.|
|Global Action Partners Portal [GAPP] - collaboration||On Our Radar||Global Action Partners Portal [GAPP] - a global green marketplace for localized economies. It is an online sales tool that supports sustainable development and bridges the gap between theory and action within an 'ebay' style marketplace linked to an academic journal that would be run by my non-profit.|
|Disaster relief info for people with disabilities||On Our Radar||Developing a method for providing information for interested persons with disabilities concerning the existence and location of the county's accessible services, activities, and programs.|
|Gesture to audio converter||On Our Radar||Gesture to audio converter for people who are verbally/speech impaired. The aim of this device is to read hand gestures into audio signals. The device just uses a camera to read the gestures and a processor to interpret them. This would allow people with verbal/speech impairments to be understood by people who do not understand sign language.|
|Digital assistant for people with mild cognitive deficits||On Our Radar||Smartphone technology for assisting patients with mild cognitive deficits. deficits, helping care-recipients live independently for longer and alleviating the workload of caregivers. The modified smartphone would focus on making key functions more user-friendly (e.g. communication tools, scheduler and location tracker) and have an interface for remote monitoring by a caregiver(s).|
|Agriculture in Developing World||On Our Radar||Software for improving the ability of agricultural production models to characterize the impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector. Current partner efforts are focused in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The big IT focuses now is the development of data interoperability tools: making datasets available to multiple models, each which uses different formats, units, etc.|
|An Orton-Gillingham school app||On Our Radar||Work with specialized dyslexia schools to create an app that implements the Orton-Gillingham methodology for decoding text (i.e., adding macrons and breves to text)|
|"Lexis Nexis" for legal information specifically for the developing world||On Our Radar||Provide an online source for searching legal information specifically for developing countries. The Center for Constitutional Rights has a doc sharing portal that could be upgraded|
|AED (Defibrillator) app||On Our Radar||Take over a prototype app for spotting and maintaining AEDs (defibrillators).|
|Software for improving trial monitoring||On Our Radar||App for assisting with the monitoring of legal trials. Could be semicustom app implementation.|
|Tools for recovering cognitive skills||On Our Radar||Online drills and exercises to help stroke victims recover cognitive skills. Specific ask was for help listening to digits out loud and doing a game for recognizing them correctly.|
|Helping vulnerable workers||On Our Radar||Santa Clara Valley's Human Relations Commission wants to have technology for helping vulnerable workers.|
|Emergency Medicine Cookbook App||On Our Radar||A free Android application that gives emergency medical technicians a simple guidebook to step-by-step instructions for the medical interventions they need to perform, customized to each country's standard medical practices. Content to be vetted by a specific major university's Emergency Medicine Department, aligned with evidence-based practices.|
|Fighting Counterfeit pharmaceuticals||On Our Radar||Optical pattern recognition software for verification of pharmaceuticals using highly complex, existing patterns in packaging and seals.|
|Secure membership database||On Our Radar||Several organizations (i.e., LGBT orgs in Africa) use Martus to keep their membership information secure, but it isn't really designed for that. Build an adaptation that is specifically designed for this.|
|ADE: Activity Duration Estimator||On Our Radar||For people with Parkinson's and similar conditions, device to monitor their tremors and predict how long a common activity like getting dressed will take. This will help predict schedule changes. Requires machine learning.|
|Anti-bullying app||On Our Radar||Anti-bullying app for all students, but especially targeted at middle and secondary school. Could have big impact both domestically and internationally. |
Bullying is a big problem in US schools, and there are many anti-bullying campaigns. We've never armed kids with the tools to stop it, though.
Additionally, I think we could sell the app (or give it away and use some anti-bullying advertising) to fund development.
Internal champion: Brad Turner
|Family Relocation-reconnection unification tool||On Our Radar||AKA FRRUT. On any given day hundreds to tens of thousands of people leave their homes, leaving virtually everything behind. They may choose to leave due to economic uncertainty, or they may be forced from their homes by famine, war, disease, ethnic 'cleansing,' or poverty. Often, these people are poor; almost always they leave out of desperation, knowing that survival is more likely away from their home. |
During their journey, inevitably, families get split up. Mothers and children are sent ahead and fathers are left behind, or children are sent by a parent to a remote location to meet another parent for their safety. Benetech could build an application (database) that could reconnect these broken families. However, the database would have to represent families through a token or otherwise obscure a name or location. For example, earlier this year there were thousands of children that came across the border from Mexico. Many of them had family in the US, but often that family member was undocumented. Helping those children reunite with their parents would help the family (and the US Gov't) but the family isn't going to expose themselves to the INS and risk deportation. If they could communicate anonymously with a token representing their identity, they could safely reunite. This is repeated regularly (Syria is the latest). http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2015/10/world/dadaab-refugees/?utm_source=nextdraft&utm_medium=email
|"American Idle" -- warning when car is idling more than 1 minute||On Our Radar||"American Idle" - Problem: People sit in their cars with engine running doing email and don't realize how much time is going by and how many pounds of C02 they are emitting. Possible solution: app that detects when your car has been idling for more than 1 minute when not in traffic and beeps to indicate you should consider turning off the engine (like your fridge beeps when the door has been open too long). An average vehicle with a 3-litre engine idling for ten minutes burns 300 millilitres (over 1 cup) of fuel and this produces 690 grams of CO2. Lots of health, financial, climate implications.|
|Multi-Sensory Cards||On Our Radar||Seniors with vision loss (and BVI) have a hard time reading cards, but older populations tend to prefer more traditional forms of communication exchange involving tangible objects. Provide a way to enhance cards using additional modes and sense. For example, tactile graphics accenting key elements or personalized audio recordings from the individuals in the image (think Xmas cards).|
|Virtual Assistance||On Our Radar||A virtual assistance program for blind people, with a web cam, mounted on glasses, which allows a sighted person to view the blind person's surroundings and provide assistance. A Google Glass style product.|
|Resources for travellers||On Our Radar||A social network or other online meeting place / information exchange system for people who want to volunteer while they travel.|