UC Berkeley's Virtual Development Center


University of California at Berkeley
Innovation Workshop held on the Berkeley Campus, January 26, 2002
Virtual Development Center

Report on Berkeley Innovation Workshop

What is the VDC? -- Created in September 1999, the Institute for Women and Technology's (IWT) Virtual Development Center (VDC) is an industry supported partnership of universities and communities aimed at bringing women's genius to the technology of the future.

The VDC creates a framework in which non-technical women from many communities join with female university students and faculty and female computer scientists and engineers in industry in the design and creation of useful new technologies. We hope to transform engineering education so that more women from broad populations pursue technical careers. In doing so, we want to train future computer scientists and engineers to routinely bring broad human perspectives and involvement to their projects. Finally, we want to generate projects that build technology that is inspired by and wanted by women.

The Innovation Workshop was the Berkeley Virtual Development Center’s kick-off event. The workshop, facilitated by Sara Hart of the Institute for Women and Technology (IWT), and James Landay of UC Berkeley, brought together students, staff and members of the disabled community from the Computer Technologies Program. The goal of the workshop was to generate ideas for Berkeley’s first VDC course: Computer Science 160 (User Interface and Design). Student projects for this course, offered for the Spring 2002 Semester, will focus on designing appropriate computer technology for women with disabilities. The first half of the workshop strove to bring all participants to a common starting point by: establishing an open forum for communication between community and academia/students; discussion of technology, and; defining a common set of assumptions for what technology can and cannot do for use in the second half of the workshop. The second half of the workshop consisted of a series of breakout sessions designed to generate and refine ideas for student projects. By the end of the day we hoped to have identified and examined a handful of ideas for use as potential VDC student projects, incorporating the input of our community partners.

I.  Complete list of the ideas generated at the Berkeley Innovation Workshop:

ALL IDEAS (by team)
1. A new kind of super-wheel chair; on the sand, rain!! (Prosthetic?) 
2. Better bus scheduler/paratransit; best route, start & finish 
3. More flexibility in e-books; annotation 
4. Device to help people shower 
5. Personal temperature/enunt regulator 
6. Sensing the colors of material; for matching clothes, shoes 
7. Using technology to serve basic needs; such as food, clothing; cheaper transportation of such materials 
8. Organize information for research 
9. Blind people driving 
10. Indicators on money 
11. Automatic translation of sign language 
12. Automatic plant waterer 
13. Handheld universal translator 
14. Electronic menu elevators, lifts, not broken 
15. Special vans at an affordable $ 
16. Transportation; no gas, automatically finds most efficient route 
17. Calorie, nutrient counter/advisor 
18. Telepresent projected screen (for writing, mouse etc) 
19. Opening jars with one hand 
20. Telephone for the hearing impaired 
21. Home doctor 
22. Kitchen; what is it, when expires > alert, orders automatically (bar codes) 
23. Speech coach for the deaf; visual feedback, something in the mouth (tactile feedback) 


1. Food doneness indicator for cookware 
2. Electronic wallet so don’t get “mis-charged” 
3. Voice I/O web browser: for cell phone when driving, for sites that aren’t voice aware 
4. Voice webvan 
5. Health monitoring; signal auto-sent 
6. Solar/electric jacket w/thermostat; cool and warm 
7. Small attachment for any clothing 
8. Hands-free ATM ala Fastrak 
9. Probe for temp, color, acidity; report via voice (food going bad), programmable/downloadable profile 
10. Smart refrigerator; notices empty containers and helps you know to reorder 
11. PDA capabilities using voice; voice dictation > words, few buttons 
12. Remote house control by voice or other remote 
13. Small watch that reads anything you point at it; for blind and children 
14. Wearable watch/PDA 
15. Heating pad built into jacket 
16. Talking signs/beacons 
17. Pen/flashlight reader 
18. Energy recycler for bikes, etc 
19. Technology for learning languages; cultural aspects 
20. Transportation for those who can’t go independently; elder/kids/disabled, golf cart + GPS + auto nav, collision sensing, use bike lanes 
21. Directions to diff. objects, locations 
22. Accessible microwave panels; simple voice 
23. Universal remote to physical devices 
24. Computer that reads my thoughts

1. Automatically adjusting glasses 
2. Food ingredients (allergy) sensor 
3. Blood sugar tester/recorder in one 
4. Automatic temperature adjusting jack 
5. Front brake lights 
6. Crossing-intention sensor 
7. Speech-to-text glasses 
8. Item locator (e.g. glasses, pager) 
9. Clothing color detector 
10. Automated scribe one-step software VCR programming 
11. Tape recorded instruction (audio/Video) 
12. Audio user manuals 
13. Personal flying machines 
14. Smart navigation system - specific directions (e.g. lane changes, foreign countries) 
15. Non-technical shopping interface 
16. Automated door/lighting 
17. Smart brake lights 
18. Disability access navigation 
19. Parking spot finder/reservation 
20. Customizable automate desk organizer 
21. Extra-visible nighttime road signs 
22. Universal instruction manual 
23. Food allergy menu creator 
24. Voice activated shopping list; refrigerator contents sensor; recipe components 
25. Toddler electric plug warning 
26. Voice activated dexterous grasper
1. Voice recognition palm pilot 
2. Sign language > voice; palm program 
3. TTY for cars 
4. Captioning in glasses (voice > caption) 
5. Agile wheelchair 
6. Temperature changing jacket 
7. Translator (different language, expressions) 
8. Blind currency (texture to rep amt) 
9. Palm pilot to control elevator 
10. Alternative input method for computer 
11. Hair cutting machine/program 
12. Hairstyle program 
13. Caption for software 
14. Navigation system instead of guide dog (safety reasons and to guide people) 
15. Teleprompt in Braille 
16. Bed making machine 
17. Duster 
18. Scanner translate word into Braille 
19. Food maker 
20. Figure skate coach program 
21. Automatic ice skate 
22. Car navigation system 
23. Weatherproof wheelchair 
24. Automatic grocery cart 
25. Public transportation needs to report problem to deaf people

1. Chem. Monitor - personal 
2. Flying machine/transport 
3. Transcription system; searchable 
4. Language interpreter; via phone? 
5. Sensor for someone blind or in wheelchair/obstacles 
6. Robots for everything 
7. PDA for everything 
8. Camera (???) memory 
9. PDA to record thoughts 
10. Website w/yell pgs @ access info 
11. Reminder for medication; for elderly 
12. Car blind can drive 
13. A note taker that’s accurate 
14. Voice ID/activation (hands free) 
15. Restore vision for blind 
16. E-map for PDA for blind 
17. Personal nutrition device 
18. Portal for elderly - general advice (also for blind) 
19. Face > name aid 
20. Dictation email by phone 
21. Device to sense others/crime; let blind know @ eye contact, facial expressions 
22. Autoscribe w/projection 
23. New mouse > glove? 
24. Glasses = mouse 
25. Glasses w/ text (auto scribe) 
26. Chairs w/posture advice; audio 
27. Moveable/voice-activated toiler 
28. Autoramp for wheelchair 
29. Auto exercise machine 
30. Ramp with auto sensor 
31. “sign” machine 
32. One card for eve. - Shopping, ID 
33. Global ID - no exp $ 
34. Info transfer; books > mind 
35. Teleport shoes 
36. Shoes w/guide 
37. Food replicator
1. Allergen sensor device 
2. Hand held direction giver that knows your capabilities 
3. Head sensor that can communicate your thoughts without you speaking or doing anything 
4. Glasses or device that senses objects and gives you info about their distance 
5. Filter for sinuses that protects allergic people from environmental scents 
6. Highway speed wheelchair 
7. Stair climbing wheelchair 
8. Verbal commands to do word processing in document 
9. Hand signal/hand motion computer recognition (non-touch - movement) 
10. Research ability to use audio input to get visual info 
11. Text transmission from a distance to a local hand held receiver 
12. Device to locate other people by audio or visual signals 
13. Eat as much as you want/don’t gain weight device 
14. Cordless power transfer 
15. Virtual screen exerciser 
16. Virtual sleep 
17. Seeing eye dog device 
18. Portable lift, lightweight 
19. Artificial limbs well connected to the nervous system 
20. Audio/tactile page reader 
21. Suite that communicates with spinal cord for muscle contraction 
22. Hand held translator that converts audio to text 
23. Interpreter scheduler that indicates interpreters available and has automatic connection to them 
24. Sensor that detects eye contact 
25. Robot to do attendant work 
26. Self-driving programmed car 
27. Audio directions for blind navigation/travel 
28. Audio instructions for surrounding environment 
29. Braille reader that speaks 
30. Computer pad the makes Braille out of computer screen 
31. Pill that replaces sleep

1. Hand held translator; audio > text [1] 
2. Interpreter scheduler indicates interpreter available and has automatic connection to them 
3. Eye contact sensor [5] 
4. Lightweight lift [3] 
5. Attendant robot [1] 
6. Verbal command word processing 
7. Hand signal computer recognition [1] 
8. Color identifier [1] 
9. Voice activated shopping list [1] 
10. Allergy sensor [10] 
11. Blood sugar sensor/recorder + menu creator [2] 
12. Extra visible road signs [2] 
13. Automated desk organizer [1] 
14. Temperature adjusting jacket [14] 
15. Sensor: night, to detect other and their moods [1] 
16. Searchable auto-transcript. Sys. 
17. Voice activated moveable toilet [5] 
18. Smart ID 
19. Wearable heating/cooling pad w/solar [2] 
20. Hands free ATM [2] 
21. Voice/remote control house [1] 
22. Ubiquitous voice I/O [2] 
23. Watch PDA/talking signs [2] 
24. Computer assistant w/voice I/O [3]

25. Food doness probe 
26. Directions to objs [6] 
27. Self-driving car, van + gadgets (lift) + magnets [22] 
28. Calorie/nutrient counter [2] 
29. Electronic menu [1] 
30. Super (more mobile) wheelchair [1] 
31. Opening jars with one hand [1] 
32. Speech coach for the deaf [2] 
33. Para transit scheduler 
34. Home doctor [5] 
35. Email > cell phone voice activated 
36. Personal flying machine [3] 
37. Electric/auto exercise machine [2] 
38. Auto language interpreter [4] 
39. New mouse: glasses 
40. Chem./nutrition monitor 
41. Teleport device 
42. Voice > text transcripting [1] 
43. Object sensor for blind or wheelchair [1] 
44. Voice recognition Palm pilot safety system [1] 
45. Captioning in glasses or contacts, virtual translator [17] 
46. Navigation system for Palm Pilot [4] 
47. Bed making machine 
48. Duster 

II.  List of Berkeley Innovation Workshop Attendees:

The participants in the Berkeley Innovation Workshop consisted of UC Berkeley undergraduates and graduate students, three Computer Science faculty, one Mills College faculty member, and three staff members from the EECS Center for Undergraduate Matters. In addition, 14 representatives of the Computer Technologies Program attended, including two staff members, Maureen Fitzgerald, and twelve disabled women.

Professor James Landay   http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~landay/
Professor Jennifer Mankoff http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~jmankoff/
Professor John Canny   http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~jfc/
Professor Ellen Spertus, Mills College

EECS Center for Undergraduate Matters staff:
Dr. Sheila Humphreys, Academic Coordinator for Student Matters
Ms. Susanne Kauer, Student Affairs Officer
Ms. Jeannie Lee, Student Affairs Officer

Wai-Ling Ho-Ching, CS 160 Teaching Assistant
Hesham Kamel, a visually impaired doctoral student

CTP participants:
Angelika Angermann
Maureen Fitzgerald
Pamela Miller
Priscilla Moyers
Loretta Powell
Damini Sharma
Shenell Steward
Alex Tabony
Evelyn Taylor
Sondra Thaler
Valerie Vivona
Rose White
Margie RoseYi-Cheng Chou

III.  Description of projects to be developed by students:

The students who attended the Innovation Workshop are enrolled in CS 160 (http://guir.berkeley.edu/courses/cs160/spring2002/index.html), ”User Interface Design, Prototyping and Evaluation,” taught by Professor James Landay. The students culled the ideas generated at the workshop and have refined them to the following list of projects. The 12 specific projects that will be developed during Spring Semester 2002 and the composition of the 12 teams are listed below.

Project Titles and Student Team Members:
PDA-Based Visual Communicator for the Hearing Impaired
Lawrence W. Leung 
Mark Goodman 
Michael Chang 
James Fortman
Transit Scheduler for the Disabled
Alex Tuzin 
Morgan Ames 
Name Withheld 
Jung Oh
Web & PDA-Based Matchmaker for Sign Language Interpreters
Christopher Elliott Fry 
Michael Hamilton 
Bret Hull 
Carol Chia-Fan Pai
Smart Home
Malay Shah 
Pei-Pei Soh 
Simon Huang 
Jennie Nguyen
Voice I/O for the PDA
Alexander Lam 
Eric Lin 
Gary Hsieh 
Eric Tse 
Hyung Jin Park
Accessibility Trip Planner
Shivani Garg 
Allen Liu 
Marisa Bauer 
Raymond To
Shopper Aid
Robert Lee 
Jennie Park 
Jeff King 
Winston Liaw
Phone Based Web Browser
Lin Hsu 
Gahgene Gweon 
Michael Barrientos 
Nicholas Brulois
Smart Shopping List
Lisa Gruzdas 
Richard Yen 
Madoka Haneda 
Tiffany Chan
Cellular Phone Yellow Pages
Mark Luk 
Na Kyeong Gina Lee 
Name Withheld 
Kyle Stanek 
Golnaz Moeini
Diagnostic Allergen and Nutrition Monitor
Hyun Kyu Choi 
Alla Tolchinsky 
Irana Sheykh-Zade 
Seema Moorjani
Voice Recognition System Speech Therapist
Claudia Chung 
Gauton Kene 
Andrew Iskandar 
Kun Ha Kim

IV.  Description of next steps:

The students in the Computer Science 160 class (http://guir.berkeley.edu/courses/cs160/spring2002/index.html) are in the process of conducting contextual interviews of the members of the disabled community about their needs in regard to the technologies the students are developing this semester. Alana Theriault, a staff member of CTP, commented after a student interview:

“After being interviewed by students for their project, Alana said, "It was good to work with people with a clean slate on disability issues. The students did not have background knowledge or experience about paratransit, but they were so open to learning. Over time this experience will be very valuable.”

The projects will be presented and demonstrated at the end of the course in late April. On Friday, April 19, selected projects will be presented at the Virtual Development Center conference in Palo Alto. Computer Technologies Program Liaison Maureen Fitzgerald will join the students and Professor John Canny for the VDC Conference on that day.

Additional Information Considered Notable by the Leadership Team:

On Monday, January 26, the EECS Department with Women’s Studies and the Center for Higher Education hosted a talk by researchers Allan Fisher and Jane Margolis on their new book: “Unlocking the Clubhouse.” This well-attended talk served as a public kick-off event for the Berkeley Virtual Development Center. Professor John Canny, VDC Co-PI, introduced the VDC at his Distinguished Colloquium talk on February 6 in which he described the new Berkeley Institute for Design. For more details, see: http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Chair/cannya.html

For further information or if you have any questions, please contact:
Sheila M. Humphreys (humphrys@eecs.berkeley.edu)