i3 | December 15, 2017

#AccessibleOlli Showcases Startup Tech at CES 2018

Mark Chisholm

Local Motors’ Self-Driving Bus to be on Display in LVCC’s Grand Lobby

Local Motors designs, builds and sells vehicles, specializing in 3D printed vehicles – shaping the future of local manufacturing. By combining co-creation, technology and local micro-manufacturing, the company is building groundbreaking vehicles and bringing them to market at extraordinary speed.

Speaking with i3 last year, Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers explained the co-creation business model. "It is a management strategy that brings different parties together to jointly produce a valued outcome," he explains. "Co-created value arises in the form of personalized, unique experiences for customers."

Take #AccessibleOlli, the company's autonomous bus equipped with cognitive computing. At CES 2017, the CTA Foundation announced a partnership with IBM and Local Motors to make #AccessibleOlli the world’s most accessible self-driving vehicle. At the show, the partnership used Twitter submissions with the hashtag #AccessibleOlli to crowdsource ideas for making the accessible vehicle. The crowdsourcing “competition” resulted in a number of innovative ideas from startups and global brands alike.

One startup was KinTrans, a winner of the 2017 Eureka Park Accessibility contest, described as “an on-demand sign language translation software designed to provide effective, two-way communication with deaf sign language users and people who use spoken languages.” The software combines traditional real-time voice-to-text translation with the ability to translate sign language into voice. By integrating KinTrans into #AccessibleOlli, riders can communicate with the self-driving bus via sign language.

Another startup to lend its innovative tech to #AccessibleOlli is Ultrahaptics. By using ultrasound to project sensations onto a hand, Ultrahaptics allows people to feel and control technology like never before. With applications ranging from automotive to household appliances and gaming, Ultrahaptics can be used anywhere people interact with technology to feel virtual worlds or get feedback from gesture control.

In a submission to LM Labs – Local Motors’ collaboration portal – the potential for Ultrahaptics to integrate additional accessibility features for individuals with vision impairment is detailed: “A person on #AccessibleOlli can reach up into the air and press an invisible button. A camera detects the palm and uses Ultrahaptics' ultrasound technology to project the feeling of a button onto their palm. As the person walks towards the exit doors, an ultrasound haptic wall guides them to the door. The user feels the wall on their hands and follows it to the exit doors."

Come see these and other innovation technologies in the Grand Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center, where #AccessibleOlli will be on display at CES 2018.

November/December 2017 i3 Cover Issue

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