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Mobile technology project focuses on developing apps for people with intellectual disabilities

SoundLab new mobile technology

SoundLab is a new mobile technology project that focuses on developing music applications geared towards individuals with intellectual disabilities. According to Ashley Elsdon, SoundLab is focused on “finding simple and effective ways to help people with [intellectual disabilities] to express themselves musically and collaborate with other people using readily available musical technologies.”

The applications are designed for use on iPads and other touch-based technologies. As of May 2014, SoundLab has already hosted two workshops, inviting users from different backgrounds to try out their applications. Usually, mobile applications are designed with the developer in mind as the first audiences. The applications developed under SoundLab are targeted towards adults with intellectual disabilities. However, Elsdon explains that when “you develop improved methods of providing access and interaction for someone with [intellectual] disabilities, you in turn benefit a wider group of users, by providing better accessibility and simplicity of use.”

With a clear focus on features such as accessibility, SoundLab has released apps such as Thumb Jam, a music creation application that can be used and understood with little to no familiarity with the actual app.

Other companies such as littlebits and Moog took notice of what SoundLab was trying to achieve. In response, the two companies, along with a few others, have donated hardware such as littleBits’ Synthkits, in order to help with the development of new apps.

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