Year/Course: 2008-2009, Lent 2009

Contacts: Dr. Sam Waller, Cambridge Engineering Design Centre
Mentors: Tim Goldrein & Megan Morys, Innovia Technology
Background Information: The inclusive design toolkit ( and usability evaluation tools (


Mentors: Pierre Far & Alan Cucknell, Innovia Technology

The inclusive design group at the Cambridge Engineering Design Centre have developed gloves and glasses which reduce the functional ability of the eyes and hands, and simulate the effect of a range of diseases which reduce vision and mobility. The simulator glasses allow various aspects of vision to be modified, and the gloves allow different parts of the hand to be effectively weakened or stiffened. These tools were originally designed to raise the awareness of the effect of disabilities on people’s abilities to carry out everyday tasks. For example, if your peripheral vision is reduced, and your remaining vision is blurry, it can be very difficult to find the toilets in a new building, or navigate a train station.

The team which developed these aids are specifically interested in using them for educational purposes to the greatest effect. How can these tools help the greatest number of people learn about the effects of disability, and then use that understanding to improve the lives of people with visual and mobility impairments? For example, it might be effective to provide a set of glasses to every school and university in the country, or it might be better to target specific courses and educational programmes.

In addition to recommending the best approach for distribution of the gloves and glasses, the i-Team will also be tasked with investigating possible sources of funding for these activities, whether charitable or governmental or another source entirely.

The challenge for the i-Team is to investigate existing and potentially new uses of such sensors, and recommend those areas where the new sensor’s advantages make it most commercially attractive.