An international PhD student at AUT is today launching a campaign to translate his research, producing interactive games for people with visual impairments, into a global success.
The Kickstarter campaign, which has a fundraising target of NZ$6,000 builds on the impressive work Jarek Beksa, from School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, has done over the last 2 years to commercialise his research.
Jarek came from Poland to study audio-based interfaces for games for visually impaired in 2013. He is leading a team of students who have created 8 audio games on a platform called the Audio Game Hub.
The Audio Game Hub is available for free on the Apple Store and Google Play and has been downloaded over 33,000 times, gained positive user reviews and hundreds of requests to make more games. It has also won international plaudits, with a Play by Play Award in April 2016 and recognition from the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB), a not for profit in the UK who awarded Audio Game Hub its app of the month in September 2016.
Jarek said the decision to launch the Kickstarter came from overwhelmingly positive feedback from users who want more games and more variety.
“We believe games should be for everyone! Here at Audio Game Hub our vision is sound; literally. We specialise in using sounds and music to create games for both sighted and non-sighted users.
This project is student led from start to finish and we’re hoping people will show their support by pledging and spreading the word, so we can make this a reality,” Jarek said.
As well as developing additional games, the funding will also help cover the costs for new sound effects to enhance the user experience.
Steve Corbett, CEO, AUT Enterprises Ltd., said Jarek’s journey from student to entrepreneur is one that the University is keen to replicate.
“Jarek and his team epitomise what we do at AUT; produce research that has a positive impact on people’s lives. Providing an environment where students and staff can develop great ideas and translate that into something that has the potential to benefit people is a key aim for the AUT and the focus of what we do here at AUT Enterprises. We’re excited to see where Jarek’s work will take him next.”