Awards Entry: The Doo Phone

The ‘Doo Phone’ is a mobile phone interface that is the easiest in the world to use no matter what your capabilities. The motivation for developing this interface came from Rhys Cooper’s work with people who have an intellectual disability but the interface is suitable for everyone.

The phone interface works by firstly eliminating any menu function that is not needed to make phone calls. The phone uses a picture based speed dialing system that allows the user to select the image of the person they wish to call, and then press call. The interface has been designed to allow for an unlimited number of contacts to be stored and these are displayed 9 per page. There is also a function to dial any number if the number isn’t stored in the phone’s memory. These numbers are displayed in high contrast and large format making them easy to see.

All of the selections are backed up by audio files and although this is built on a touch screen platform the patent pending interface design gives texture to this surface by placing a grid over the screen. This grid transforms physical regions on the touch screen into ‘buttons’ and helps guide the user towards their intended selection.

This physical grid interface on a touch screen means that even if the user is completely blind they can easily search through all the speed dial options by feeling the “buttons? and listening to the selections until they find who they want to call, then simply press the call button in the corner of the phone.

The contacts details and other phone settings can be updated remotely through a secure companion website. This means that a person with a disability can receive remote assistance from a family member or friend who can use the website to help configure the device, removing complexity from the end user experience. The website also allows remote location tracking of the device so the user doesn’t need to know where they are when asking for help.


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