i-point/Faros Pliroforisis

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i-point/Faros Pliroforisis: Alternative method for road marking/information supporting the visually impaired

GreeceThessaloniki, Greece
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Alternative method for road marking/information for the general public and the visually impaired that provides orientation and other services. It targets the needs and the special dynamics of the Sharing Communities. It is oriented in distance work by disabled or temporarily hindered people.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if everyone could get an enhanced, interactive, information-rich experience on the go that even a blind person could benefit from?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Although Greece is a popular tourist destination, we lack sustainable mobility infrastructure or a network service with technological applications for the visitors. The purpose is to ensure an access chain through sufficient road marking, direction/orientation and infrastructure for people with disabilities. Moreover, there is a lack of opportunities for distance work by disabled or temporarily hindered people.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

• Extended Braille road marking network, brief info in every sidewalk (street names, floor plans etc) • QR code support, orientation/ information, on or off line, voice support, multilingual, updated news, entertainment features, gaming • Physical network of geodetic labeled stands (gps) • Open source, open data, volunteers’ participation • Public use, free4AAA (for Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere) • Creating a distance working policy for excluded groups • Interactive main website (e.g. microblogging) for bonding and creating local service model, utilizing the dynamics of Sharing Communities • Production from either recycled raw materials or with the local business circuit, to strengthen the local market • Zero energy footprint
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

• Have you seen lost tourists downtown with a map or a travel book, asking themselves where the heck they are? Mary and Ian travel a lot in groups. They don’t feel comfortable veering off on their own. They use smartphones but aren’t completely familiar with multifunctional devices. With i-point they can just scan a qrcode and keep on walking, listening to the available information about and what else is or happens nearby. They don’t miss the important building around the corner, and if it’s closed (e.g.gallery) they scan the next i-point and see the exhibits. • Α teenager can scan i-point and get the next step for a treasure hunt. • A blind person can read Braille and get e.g. a park plan or scan a qrcode and get informed about it.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

i-point is at idea stage and soon will be achieved a pilot installation. The selected area is a high tourist traffic alley and the prospective feedback would be specified. Most of i-points will be located at the pedestrians' blind lines. Through this process we can get safer results and we can define the future social impact. Disabled or temporary hindered people are more than 10% of the whole population in Greece and nearly 80% are unemployed. 1% is blind (no data about low vision). More than 1000 blind people live in Thessaloniki. Greece is one of the top tourism destinations in the world. Nearly 20 million people (almost twice the country’s population) visit Greece every year. More details about social exclusion of people with disabilities in Greece (job opportunities, accessibility etc) http://www.academia.edu/961261/_-_ Tourism http://www.mintour.gov.gr/el/Statistics/meletes/

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

i-point is a long-lasting, consumer product. Combined with other apps, it can tap in and develop their functionality. It can be a testing field for new apps and can expand to other uses. The variety of its uses will be gradually introduced, with free and premium services. Promotion will be internet-based, or through word of mouth as well as inbound marketing. During the 1y pilot stage, 15 basic features prototypes (MVP) will be installed at a high traffic place, a field survey will be conducted. Before installing more, it will be placed at selected areas free of charge for promotion purposes.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We intend to use early adopters as brand ambassadors. Match funding will be pursued from NGOs, enterprises with relevant CSR, and high net worth individuals who will help us proceed to the market development stage, where supply chain engagement and commercial scale up will be achieved. In early stages the project requires a low budget and we are open to crowd-funding whether inside or outside of Greece.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

i-point is patented (IP). There are no direct competitor apps. InfoKiosks could be indirect competitors, but have much higher installation, and O&M costs. Google maps is an example application, which allows the use of our physical network utilizing web capabilities. Braille method isn’t widely applied but we intend to use it as a bolt on, improving the quality of life for the visually impaired and helping people with low technology understanding. Revenue streams exist from sales to private or public clients like tourist operators, municipalities, NGOs, museums, etc but free for the end user.
Team

Founding Story

I was raised in a city where tourism is the backbone of economic activity, with sunny bright skies, historic significance and proximity to crystal clear seafronts, inviting inhabitants and visitors to take long walks, smell and sense all the ‘aromas’ in the air. Always annoyed by poor road marking, struggling pedestrians, and vehicles that park on the pavement blocking access, triggered the idea of doing something that would change all this madness. I-point resonates with my ambition to provide a user friendly, free and fun information service that will change this socially irresponsible culture, help disabled people enjoy the different flavors the city has to offer , and eventually improve quality of life in cities of the 21st century.

Team

Aravella Salonikidou, project founder, award winning entrepreneur. Agni Kolia, MBA, MSc HR – CCO. Vlassis Rallis, MSc Economics – CFO. Maria Salonikidou, Health and Social Welfare Science – Administration. Despina Tsinalidou, Business Development. Dr Effimia Panagiotidou, Attorney at Law - IPRs Legal Advisor-External Partner. On the lookout for an inspired IT Lead.
About You
About You
First Name

Aravella

Last Name

Salonikidou

About Your Project
Organization Name
How long has your organization been operating?

Project
Organization Country

, Thessaloniki

Country where this project is creating social impact
What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Friends and family.

Supplemental
Partnerships: Tell us about your partnerships.