'Challenge 22', a competition initiated by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) in Qatar, has been leading a technological revolution in the middle-east.
After Qatar won the hosting rights for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the SC came up with a unique concept of ‘Challenge 22’ which is an innovation award challenging the creative and technological minds to find solutions in certain sectors which have been identified as ‘challenging’ by the organizers.
The idea was to cultivate the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship within the region, thereby getting every strata of the society to engage with the spectacle of the World Cup.
Facebook has come onboard to be a strategic partner for Challenge 22. Some of the top venture capitalists, incubators, innovators are part of the judges and mentors panel.
One such innovation, 'Bonocle' could change the way visually impaired people use digital content. One of the 2017 winners of Challenge 22, Bonocle, is an ingenious, easy-to-use electronic device which uses bluetooth technology to transform digital content into braille messages. It greatly improves visually impaired people's digital access – at a much lower cost than existing devices.
It is a next-gen assistive technology device for the visually impaired. Bonocle utilizes the medium of braille to allow the user unprecedented accessibility to the wide array of electronic devices while maintaining a user friendly and natural reading experience.
Developed by Abdelrazek Aly, Ramy Abdulzaher, Mahmoud Eltouny and Kariem Fahmi, all from Qatar, have extensive experience in product development. They used their collective expertise to address problems that visually impaired university students have when accessing digital content. They are passionate about increasing literacy in visually impaired people and providing assistive technology that anybody can afford.
The team had received a USD 15,000 cash prize, and their ideas underwent expert input and up to USD 100,000 in additional funding which helped them develop their product to the next stage. The developers have also began a crowdfunding campaign to manufacture Bonocle and get it in the hands of users.