Fujitsu announced that it will offer free educational programming modules for its “Ontenna” device for students with hearing disabilities.
Ontenna is a device that allows users to sense sounds with their bodies. Fujitsu will offer an educational solution utilizing the device to schools for students who are deaf or hard of hearing and other educational institutions free of charge across Japan from December 11, 2020.
Since June 2019, Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has been providing free trial versions of Fujitsu’s Ontenna device to slightly more than 70% of schools for those with limited hearing nationwide. This initiative represents part of MEXT’s efforts to leverage technology to contribute to the improvement of students’ educational environments and realize its goal of “fair, individualized learning that leaves no one behind.” The trial version of Ontenna is now widely used in speech classes and for rhythm and music exercises in schools for the deaf and hard of hearing.
This latest move promises to further advance efforts to achieve this goal, and the Ontenna educational programming modules will be made available free of charge, allowing children to use the program to customize the vibration and light-based feedback of their Ontenna to react to sounds they want to experience. This will provide children with opportunities to learn programming and contribute to the development of a new generation of technologically literate young people who will play a leading role in shaping our digital future society.
The newly developed Ontenna educational programming modules were created in cooperation with the following research subject: “Design and Deployment of a xDiversity AI platform for Audio-Visual-Tactile Communication towards an inclusive society (Research Representative: “xDiversity” Yoichi Ochiai)” in the research area “Development and Integration of Artificial Intelligence Technologies for Innovation Acceleration” of Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)’s Strategic Basic Research Program, Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST) .