Consumer products

Inclusive Design: designing products for users of all abilities

BT, University of Cambridge, Royal College of Art

Until relatively recently, consumers were typically viewed as being either able-bodied or disabled, with products being designed for one category or the other.

But as the demographics of the developing world shift and consumers’ capability levels become increasingly varied, such divisions are unhelpful.
Inclusive design, an approach to product design pioneered in the UK by Cambridge University, the Royal College of Art and BT seeks to address this issue by taking into account users of all ages and capabilities.

Developed through a long-term collaborative partnership, the concept of inclusive design has led not only to a world-leading academic reputation, but also a range of practical tools for industry.

Since 2005, the partnership has been working alongside BT to develop training courses and educational material as part of a major initiative, initially sponsored by the government, to raise awareness of inclusive design across the UK.

As part of this programme BT has sponsored the development of the Inclusive Design Toolkit, a web-based tutorial and knowledge resource targeted at business leaders and designers. The toolkit, now in its second edition, has been rolled out to all BT product commissioners and design project managers, and all of BT’s new products and services are now designed to be inclusive.

Visualise : providing multimedia content to local spectators

University of Bristol, ProVision Communications, Maniac Films, BT, 3CRL, U4EA, International Sportsworld Communicators

From motor-racing and music festivals to golf tournaments and athletics meetings, large-scale public events typically rely on a huge infrastructure of cameras, production and transmission equipment to broadcast the action to the wider world.

While in terms of atmosphere there’s still no substitute to actually being at the event, the viewer at home often gets a far more detailed and in-depth view.

In an effort to make this variety of multimedia content available to local spectators, partners working on the VISUALISE project are developing technology that will use wireless technology to provide in-ground spectators with information, analysis, replays and video feeds currently only available to those watching sport on TV.