Bulgaria: SoundVision - Award-winning technology for the visually impaired
Globally more than 285 million people are visually impaired and among them 39 million are blind. According to the World Health Organization, around 90% of the visually disabled people live in low-income settings. The SoundVision project sets out to help with innovative technology, partners from Norway and funding from the Norway Grants.
The company ScaleFocus has received funding by the Norway Grants Business Development, Innovation and SMEs in Bulgaria, through an open call on welfare technology. In cooperation with Norwegian partners, the project has developed smart, robust and multi-functional assistive technology visually impaired people.
The technology will be affordable and aims to make them independent, also economically. The SoundVision project aims to contribute bringing the EU in the forefront of social innovation, helping citizens and eventually everyone with seeing disabilities to live their lives to the fullest.
The SoundVision project won the international business award Stevie® Award in 2022. The project was awarded the Gold Stevie Award for best new prodcut in the category Healthcare Technology Solutions.
The Stevie® Awards are the world's premier business awards. Since 2002, they have honoured and generated public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions worldwide. Congrats to the partners involved!
Cooperation between Bulgaria and Norway
The project was implemented in cooperation with two Norwegian partners and Bulgarian partners. The Norwegian Computing Centre is a research organisation that contributed to the development of the mobile application and its specifications. The other Norwegian partner, Adaptor, disseminated information about the devices and end-user needs verification in a real environment.
“The collaboration between all involved partners has been key to its success. All of them have played a crucial role in the research, development and real-life testing of the final product among the target groups in Bulgaria and in Norway”, says Krasimir Kostadinir, CTO of Scale Focus.
The project focuses on the development of a technological innovation known as SoundVision: devices crafted to serve specialised needs. They utilise price competitive sensors, compensating with cutting-edge software techniques without compromising the quality of the end user experience. The project created an ecosystem of affordable innovation and the possibility of carefree lifestyle as well as resolving the traditional inconveniences of people with visual challenges. The platform brings its potential to the hands of developers around the world to create apps helping visually impaired people.
Hear about the project in the video below:
The SMEs Growth Programme in Bulgaria
The project is supported by Norway through the Norway Grants. See more opportunities under the SMEs Growth Programme in Bulgaria.