Cheil WW India's Good Vibes app empowers deaf-blind for two-way communication

Conceptualised, designed and developed by Cheil WW India, the mobile app works on a set of hand gestures and taps, helping the deaf-blind to connect and chat with each other from wherever they are. The app won four Abbys at the recent GoaFest

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Cheil WW India's Good Vibes app empowers deaf-blind for two-way communication

Embracing the core value of technology and creativity, Cheil WW India has launched Good Vibes app, a mobile application that enables two-way communication for the deaf-blind. The app won four Abby Awards at the recently held GoaFest 2018, including Gold Abby for Technology (Utility / Tool).

There are around 600,000 deaf-blind people around the world and many more remain unknown. Since 95% of what we learn is through our eyes and ears, the deaf-blind, who can neither hear nor see, are highly disadvantaged.

While the progress of technology has touched our lives in unimaginable ways, the deaf-blind has been left behind. For them, the only medium of interpersonal communication is pro-tactile sign language, which requires physical contact with a person who can interpret it. This makes them feel shackled and ever-dependent on caregivers or family members.

While Braille allows them to read, it remains a one-way communication system. What they sorely needed instead was a way to communicate with each other, and with the rest of the world. And the language had to be tactile.

For team Cheil, the smartphone’s inherent ability to vibrate held promise as it provides the much-needed tactile feel. By combining this with the simplicity of Morse Code to represent the alphabet in a binary fashion, the Good Vibes mobile app was designed and developed.

The Good Vibes app can take ‘tactile input’ and transmit it as ‘tactile output.’ The app has no visible UI, and works on a set of hand gestures and taps, helping the deaf-blind community to connect and chat with each other from wherever they are.

Technically speaking, the Good Vibes app interprets ‘short tap’ and ‘long press’ as ‘dot’ and ‘dash’ of Morse code. Combinations of these make letters and words, which are then transmitted as distinct sets of vibrations, which can be deciphered by any trained deaf-blind person. This is an effective two-way communication tool for the deaf-blind.

Conceptualised, designed and developed in-house by Cheil, Good Vibes app brings together the power of creative thinking and technological innovation. Through the language of vibrations, the Good Vibes app aims to spread positivity in the lives of the deaf-blind. Available on Google Play store, the app can be downloaded and used for free.

The app was developed by working closely with Sense International (India), a non-profit organisation that works towards providing access to advice, opportunities and support for the deaf-blind community. Good Vibes was recently showcased at the “National Training for Adult Deafblind” held at Ahmedabad.

“After interacting with the deaf-blind and their caregivers, we knew we had our task cut out. We had to design a user experience that replicates ‘touch & feel’ – the only form of two-way communication used by them. With the Good Vibes app, we dug deep and explored a whole new dimension of app design: one that works for those can’t see or hear. The result is ‘the invisible UI’ and it works like magic,” added Vijay Simha, Executive Creative Director and Vinod Sivan, Group Creative Director, Cheil – the duo that led the design and development of Good Vibes app.

Sanjeev Jasani

Speaking about the app, Sanjeev Jasani, Chief Digital Officer, Cheil WW India, said, “Very seldom do you really get a chance to touch people's lives in a way ‘Good Vibes’ does. We are really lucky to have this chance to put technology to good use. We hope to move forward on this journey and continue to make a difference to people’s lives.”

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Good Vibes app development team:

Executive Creative Director: Vijay Simha Vellanki

Group Creative Director: Vinod Sivan

Conceptualisation: Nishith Sidana

UI/UX Design: Kailash Chandra Bhatt

Identity Design: Pankaj Kumar

App Experience and Architecture (Atthah Infomedia: Innovation Lab): Rohit Kumar

Programming and Development (Atthah Infomedia: Innovation Lab): Atul Kumar Sharma

Project led by Sanjeev Jasani, Chief Digital Officer and Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar, Chief Creative Officer, Cheil

Good Vibes app Cheil WW India