Thursday June 29, 2023

GSMA Innovation Fund Start-ups: I-Stem

Person looking at mobile phone smiling, light is reflecting on face in dark room

The majority of people with visual impairments, especially those in schools or at work, face challenges with inaccessible documents (e.g. textbooks, professional documents, brochures, government notices, receipts, pamphlets, etc.), media and apps. These users also lack awareness on the latest assistive technologies on accessibility, leading to exclusion of students and employees. Lack of access to digital information hinders access to opportunities and growth of persons with visual and hearing impairments.

I-Stem’s mission is to empower students and professionals with disabilities to realise their potential by enabling equal access to information, resources and opportunities. They’ve developed a mobile app that uses AI to provide accessibility conversion services for documents and visual and audio media files, as well as a currency reader for blind persons.

I-Stem is one of the start-ups supported by the GSMA Innovation Fund for Assistive Tech, which was launched in April 2021. It is funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), and supported by the GSMA and its members.

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