Last Wednesday, January 15, CNSC co-director Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol participated in the delivery of the 5G Challenge Award, organized by the Barcelona City Hall along with the Mobile World Capital foundation. This prize rewards the best technological projects aimed at improving the quality of life of older people in the city of Barcelona. After receiving 53 proposals, the jury awarded two projects with 100.000 € each to develop a prototype to test the inventions.
One of the awards went to Misty II, a pet-sized robot designed to remind users of their daily needs, such as taking their medication or following their diet. The other award went to the project “Deleting Loneliness,” which developed a toolset that rapidly finds contact information of people, facilitates video calls, and allows participating in activities out of the home via virtual reality glasses.
At the end of the event, Mireia delivered a speech on the preponderance of digital technologies in current societies. Mireia contested the often-assumed neutrality of technologies and invited the awarded participants and attendees to make responsible use of digital tools without falling neither into techno-optimism nor -pessimism.
Following her speech, Mireia was interviewed by El Periódico, a Catalan daily newspaper, to talk more about the relationship between older adults and information and communication technologies (ICTs), the grey digital divide, and the inherent ageism in social and technological systems.
- Pictures of the 5G Challenge Award
- “No one escapes the digital revolution.” Interview with El Periódico (in Spanish)
Photo by 5G Barcelona.