We get by with a little help from our friends
Make no mistake about it, the disability community is our strongest ally. Whenever we need testers, honest feedback, introductions and feet through the door, the disability community is there. We’re also lucky in a lot of respects to have found pockets of appeal within the disability community and other communities of a forward-thinking nature.
Today, we pay homage to the many communities that have adopted us, lifted us up and continue to champion what we do in wheelchair fitness and wheelchair navigation.
Why do we need a community to help with an app?
Marketing and product development speak is one place where Briometrix has no problem making a case.
If the definition of a decent product on the market is to solve a problem, we have this in spades.
Improving the health outcomes for people with disabilities through understanding the propensity for injury and ability.
Removing the barriers to wheelchair navigation and lowering the risk of injury, burn out and social isolation from a lack of knowledge and confidence.
Briometrix ticks two huge boxes.
We provide accurate data to help maintain health, lift sporting performance and demonstrate the potential for injury in the individual. This data is personal profile data combined with workout data to help better inform wheelchair users and their support teams such as occupational therapists and physiotherapists in recovery and rehab. And it also helps motivate and guide wheelchair users when in training, which in turn can help with coaching, setting goals and elite sports.
Briometrix maps the world in terms of effort, strokes, camber and exertion. That means wheelchair users can chart a clearer path to the world through understanding things like stairs, gradients, pavement size and quality. Instead of being unable to attend events with friends as you’re not sure how you’ll get there or assuming crowds may drive you away from public events, using navability means wheelchair users and other people with disabilities can make informed decisions. This increases autonomy, accessibility and independence. It also opens the door to apply Brio to town planning, design decisions and put accessibility in the forefront of architecture and public access.
Yet even though we have a product that solves two huge issues. It also provides opportunities in billion-dollar industries through disability tourism, job creation, design and creating more accessible spaces, it’s still a hard sell.
It’s a hard sell because a lot of backers simply don’t understand what it’s like to have a disability or the potential of uncorking the bottle on the disability community could mean. It also means people think “person in wheelchair” has no connection to the realities of life. They don’t see that safe travels for a wheelchair means a pram, bicycle, walking frame, person with assistance dog, couple walking, family or group also benefit. Imagine how easier it would be to transport goods and services in a congested city. Or chart a path with luggage to the airport.
We’ve talked about this before and it’s an easy rabbit hole to fall into. But despite the moments where we can sometimes be left scratching our melons at the lack of insight into potential angels and investors in startup, there are some great things that come from unexpected places.
What happens when a university understands
If you’ve never experienced University of Wollongong for yourself, please take the time to do so. It’s a beautiful campus with acres of green surrounding duck ponds, shops and most importantly, accessible buildings. As Sydney becomes increasingly difficult for university students to afford, Wollongong is brimming with opportunity. They have a focus on startups and moving forward with technology via their Innovation Campus and programs such as the Digital Living Lab.
Briometrix has been embraced by the University of Wollongong. We’ve done countless tests of our technology, spent many hours working out complex issues and thoroughly enjoyed doing so.
Seeing a university actively seeking to not only meet but exceed accessibility for students and staff is truly heart-warming. Expanding our work with the help of UOW has allowed us to cover much more territory and uncover opportunities we may not have foreseen.
If you think about 45% of Australians living in potential poverty, education could make a huge difference in outcomes. We know that people with disabilities have dreams, aspirations and add talent, ideas and capacity to the community. This is a university that is moving forward with a commitment to look critically at their campus in terms of accessibility. They’ve put resources, space, time, effort and funding behind supporting innovation in the disability space with Briometrix.
Could University of Wollongong become the choice for students with disabilities? What amazing opportunities could this bring when attracting elite wheelchair sports people to further studies? Or when developing employment and opportunities for the 1 in 4 Australians with a disability?
What if other universities and higher education campuses saw the potential to make accessibility a focus? Think of the opportunities for local and international student recruitment alone.
Having support from University of Wollongong opens the education community up to possibility with both Brio and with the disability community.
Taking counsel from the council
City of Sydney is a progressive council. It understands the challenges of the rising house prices, the traffic congestion and what a difference town planning can make. Here is another community where Briometrix is respected and understood.
We have a unique opportunity this year with City of Sydney’s backing to create a disability friendly New Year’s Eve celebration. Instead of applying for your paper map from the office, with City of Sydney’s help, Briometrix is mapping NYE for accessibility via interactive maps.
This means we have a special test ahead of us where we have a huge volume of people making use of Brio’s navability feature via interactive maps. People are going to chart their course to fireworks, fun and more with our help.
When the world sees Sydney as one of the first NYE parties to kick off in the world, our app will be helping people with wheelchairs navigate the celebrations, avoid issues and chart a safer, more efficient course to places of interest.
City of Sydney are also smart in that they realise Sydney needs to become more wheelchair travel accessible. It’s a council that sees the potential to model the CBD to allow for greater employment opportunities, better wheelchair tourism information and to incorporate disability into design choices for the future of the city.
The benefits of this approach mean Brio is proving it’s worth by helping plan large scale events with greater comfort for all concerned. It means instead of placing accessibility in the too hard basket, the City of Sydney is actively moving towards solving the pointy end of the problem to create a more liveable city.
Our navability feature can help inform everyone from councils to property developers, town planners to architects, public works services through to the public. It can help with design, development, maintenance and general usage of our cities.
The tourism boom through proactively seeking to create a more wheelchair accessible city will be profound. Any government, council or large scale private organisation can work with us to improve outcomes for the disability community in this manner.
City of Sydney is simply the first to be brave and intelligent enough to see the benefit.
Community matters when community matters
Community is a term that is used a lot to describe patches of people loosely held together under common interests. Briometrix is fortunate to be a part of the tech community and to have in-roads to the startup community. We take the amazing work done by global giants such as Google Maps and work to extend the offering.
We’re cheerfully pro-disability and embedded deeply into the disability community due to the nature of the problem we’re solving. And we’re driven further by our association with the education community through the University of Wollongong as well as the City of Sydney.
We’re throwing down the gauntlet: Are you ready to innovate?
We want to see Australian universities, TAFEs and private colleges prove they too are accessible and progressive like the University of Wollongong. We want American colleges and schools to catch the Brio wave to attract the next Stephen Hawkins or Louise Sauvage.
How cool would it be for Prince Harry and the Invictus Games to help choose the next city and make sure operations run smoothly by working with a smart council that knows accessibility matters? Wouldn’t it be grand to give Briometrix to every elite athlete, visitor, volunteer and person with vested interest to help grow the event into a calendar mainstay?
City of Sydney is on the map for NYE. Why not your city or town finding another way to tap into a $6billion dollar tourism market? Or to be the place where disability doesn’t mean social exclusion and isolation through a lack of infrastructure? Could your regional Australia town reinvent itself through a focus on being wheelchair friendly? Are you the next American city to make disability the forefront of town planning and design? Is your property development company the one that sees the way of the future is to cater better to disability with an increasingly aging population?
What if a savvy startup angel or investment fund was bright enough to see the potential for worldwide growth and scalability? If navability becomes a mainstay, that’s the potential for every council, builder, architect, property developer, large scale organisation, tourism related business and anyone in the disability community to be brought on board. Let alone our wheelchair fitness app being used in every hospital, injury rehab centre, elite wheelchair training camp and anyone working to improve the health outcomes of people in wheelchairs.
All it takes is a coffee or a call to see whether you too can benefit from navability and Briometrix. Imagine how much could change with that one single act.