Disability-Smart Technology for All Award 2019 (sponsored by Microlink)

A selection of people pose for an award

Winners – Dubai Police

What we were looking for

Organisations using and creating technology that can improve the lives of everyone, including disabled people. It needed to have significant impact and reach, and to be something with mainstream application.

What did they do?

Created the world’s first ‘smart police station’. Visitors can use electronic kiosks in private booths to access 27 different services, including reporting crimes and traffic accidents, and accessing social services. Visitors can do all of this without having to interact with another person, if they don’t want to.

A police station entrance of clear glass and doors

Stations were designed and built to a detailed code to maximise accessibility and usability for all. Key features include:

  • Smart navigation – combining smart floors, Bluetooth sensors and voice and visual guidance. Visitors are guided using sound and visual cues, which is especially useful for those with vision, hearing and mobility impairments.
  • Accessible communication – kiosks in the stations are programmed to use six languages, as well as sign language and braille.
  • A mobile app – people can access police services remotely, including sending SOS texts. Visitors can use the app inside the police station to receive guidance and information to their phones in whichever format is most convenient.

The dubai police app featuring a number of buttons and user options to press

These stations are fully automated, and open all hours of the day, seven days a week. They also feature privacy measures such as opaque glass and private booths – particularly useful in a culture where there can be stigma attached to being seen visiting a police station.

Why did they win?

This technology has potential for widespread application, and benefits for all users. Dubai Police have made accessing police services easier for all, including disabled people. Smart Police Stations were designed with accessibility of all users at their heart from the outset. The sheer range of technologies being used within the smart police stations represents a significant development for how people in Dubai interact with the police.

They’ve had a huge, tangible impact: the number of crimes reported at smart police stations more than doubled between 2017 and 2019, while public satisfaction with Dubai Police rose above 90%.

Finalists

University of Warwick – for creating a dedicated support system for disabled students using the university radio system.

Inspired to enter the 2020 Disability-Smart Awards? Contact our Events team at events@businessdisabilityforum.org.uk for more information.