3d. Best Mobile Product, Service or App for Accessibility or Ease-of-Use

Category 3: Social & Economic Development

3d. Best Mobile Product, Service or App for Accessibility or Ease-of-Use

According to the United Nations Development Programme, people with disabilities represent around 10% of the world’s population, or about 650 million people. Additionally, according to the World Health Organisation, the world’s population of people 60 years of age and older has doubled since 1980 and is forecast to reach 2 billion by 2050.

These populations are increasingly using mobile devices, technologies, applications and services to improve their social and physical capabilities. From dense urban environments to remote rural locations, mobile technologies have the potential to bring life-changing services to a wide population around the world who are considered in need.

The Best Mobile Product or Service for Accessibility or Ease-of-Use award aims to recognize innovations in the area of products, services or applications to enhance accessibility for people with disabilities including cognitive, hearing, mobility, visual, and other impairments, as well as those of older age groups who experience physical and cognitive limitations, and may lose the ability to live independently. Ideal mobile technologies in this category will focus on improving the quality of life and community participation of people with the overall goal of removing barriers to social inclusion.

With an emphasis on the richness of Smartphone and multimedia capabilities that are fuelling the digital economy, accessibility and use-ability that is developed and designed specifically to address the needs of the disabled, mentally or physically impaired or older users offers to unlock new business opportunities, while critically allowing citizens to be informed, be connected, to communicate, learn and be entertained as well as stimulated. In all, innovation in this area allows people to take advantage of a host of wider inclusive possibilities and discover life enhancing levels of personal and social capability and achievement.

The shortlist will be published by the GSMA in January 2014, and one winner in each category will be announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday 25th February 2014.


This award is open to all organisations that develop mobile products, devices, services, applications, initiatives and solutions to address the needs of physically or mentally impaired people as well as older aged 60 plus citizens .

The category is for commercially available products, devices, applications or services that have been launched in at least one country/ market OR are in widespread market trials before the awards deadline (entrants will be required to provide more information about the extent of trials). The Entry Deadline has been extended until Friday 6th December 2013.

Please provide evidence in your entry to support this such as launch or trial dates, including details of countries or regions where the product is available or trial undertaken.

Eligible entrants include:

  • Mobile network operators
  • Application or Software Developers
  • Manufacturers of mobile equipment & technologies
  • NGOs, foundations, private organisations and Charities
  • Governments and local authorities
  • Health and Academic institutions and organisations and other Vertical Market Segments, such as Automotive, Retail, Energy, Utilities, Transport and Financial institutions

Judging criteria

All submitted applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

Effectiveness: e.g. benefits to targeted users in overcoming the obstacles related to physical or mental impairment or age, in terms of improving and enhancing their everyday lives and supporting independent living

Availability and affordability: Including potential scalability, multiple platform availability, geographic & language capability, cost comparisons to similar products/ services for non-disabled users

User-friendliness, Ease of Use and accessibility: Ease by which the product/ service/ application etc application can be accessed and obtained.

Universal design: “the design of products, environments, programmes and services to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design” (Article 2 of United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities).

Development of assistive technologies and interoperability between different technologies are also key elements in the evaluation.

Innovation in terms of functionality, technology deployed and viable business models

Entry forms, supporting materials & formats:

The submission of video to support your entry/entries is strongly encouraged.You may provide one URL to a video link demonstrating your entry. This should be either privately or publicly posted to YouTube (if a private post, please provide a user name and password for judges to access). The video should be between three and five minutes in length, but no more.

If pointing judges to a website within your entry, please include one website URL, where specific information relating to your product or service entry can be found easily (judges will not surf websites looking for the information).

The on-line entry form includes an upload facility for you to provide multimedia. You will have the ability to upload 5 additional files to accompany your entry up to a maximum file size of 5MB each. These can be illustration pdfs, such as for customer testimonials, jpeg for photos or PowerPoint for technical diagrams or statistics, but please keep these relevant to your entry and keep the pages to a maximum of two.

Specific Entry Form Questions for this category:

On the entry form, in addition to submitting contact and company information, you will be asked to answer the following questions, (Please note the maximum text/character length for your answers including spaces are shown in brackets below):

Preview of entry form questions:

  1. What is the name of your entry i.e. how would you prefer it is referenced? Please note the name given here will be used in all awards publicity. (150 characters = approx 25 words)
  2. Is this a joint entry? If so, who are the partnering organisations? (150 characters = approx 25 words)
  3. Please describe as simply as possible, the nature of the product/ solution/ device/ application or initiative, and how would you describe (as accurately as possible) the basic user proposition i.e. how does it work, what need is it intended to fulfil? (500 characters = approx 85 words)
  4. Please describe the differences it makes to people in terms of overcoming obstacles for the physically or mentally impaired, or for senior users? ( 1,500 characters = approx 250 words)
  5. How does it compare in terms of affordability to other similar offerings, or offerings for non-disabled users? (500 characters = approx 85 words)
  6. When was the entered product/ solution/ device/ application or initiative launched and in which markets, if in market trials please state, when, where and scale of the trials? Please also describe the primary target audience? (500 characters = approx 85 words)
  7. Please describe what you regard as innovative or unique about the entry in terms of features or functionality?( 1,500 characters = approx 250 words)
  8. What is the business model and what level of scalability do you envisage could be brought to bear? (1,500 characters = approx 250 words)
  9. What makes it simple to use and access – how does it relate to the concept of ‘universal design’? (1,500 characters = approx 250 words)
  10. How does it technically work, how interoperable between software or hardware platforms is it, and what aspects of it make it particularly suited to being a mobile solution? (1,500 characters = approx 250 words)
  11. Please provide evidence of impact since launch, or trial results? (1,500 characters = approx 250 words)

Please note: Use one URL that is specific and relevant to the category and will help judges further understand your entry, but due to the number of entries received, judges will not have time to surf company websites looking for further information on the entered product/service or initiative.

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