Despoina Chalvatzi

Friday, 29 January 2016

SciFY is a place of creation and innovation, a place with different perspective of the world. Just creating applications is not enough, we persue the creation of innovative solutions for people who are in need of them. This is why we decided to develop ICSee (I Can See) an application for people with visual impairments which incoporates all the necessary innovation needed for the people that will use it.

In this effort of ours we came in touch with specialists, organisations and associations of people who deal with visual impairments. We asked them what are their needs? What problems do they face with the already existent assistive technologies? What do they wish we could create for people with severe visual problems? We made them our partners in this effort because they know the problem better than anyone else.

ICSee helps people with visual impairments deal with everyday problems for example it helps them read a receipt or a name on a doorbell e.t.c. An application like ICSee can be a integral part of the everyday lives of people with visual disabilities. With ICSee everyone can see in their own special way:

-It helps with reading texts: it magnifies the text but also offers the possibilty to applying a series of special filters

-It doesn’t have a menu text or a  written tutorial: We have made it’s usage as easy as possible aboloshing menus and utilizing the master senses of people with low vision, hearing and touching, creating acousting instructions and creating gestures which allow it’s easy usage.

In this manner everybody who has low vision has the opportunity to use ICSee without any help from his social enviroment making him feel more indipendent. Whereas, anyone can download the ICSee application completely free on his android smartphone or tablet from GooglePlay by clicking here.

We are particulary happy when prominent organisations support our effort, organisations like ENIL ( European Network on Indipendent Living ) which posted our application ICSee on its Social Media following it with great commentary. Also, we have had the support of many Greek media with various article being written about SciFY and ICSee for example on Huffington Post Greece , Proto Thema , Vima and many more.

To sum it up, we would also like to thank the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, which thanks to it’s kind grant made it possible for us to create a better more improved version of the application ICSee.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

On Wednesday 20th of January, SciFY’s team, organized in INNOVATHENS, Technopolis Hub of Innovation and Entrepreneurship of the Municipality of Athens, a seminar, devoted to the synthesis and speech recognition technologies.

Αιμίλιος Χαλαμανδάρης- Νάσος Κατσαμάνης

Almost 100 people, watched Aimilios Chalamandaris, co-founder and director of INNOETICS company, and Nasos Katsamanis, researcher of Athena RIC and co-founder of beenotes company, to analyze the text-to-speech and speech-to-text technologies.

Βασίλης Σαλαπάτας 

The event was introduced by Mr Vassilis Salapatas, one of SciFy’s co-founders, presenting the new improved version of the innovative ICSee application, funded by the Latsis Foundation. He stated that: "Using ICSee (I Can See), people with low vision can read a short text such as the list of a restaurant or the price on a receipt, which would otherwise be very difficult or even impossible to do. So their everyday lives improve greatly."
We recommend to those who have android devices (smartphone or tablet), to download the application from google play for free


Αιμίλιος Χαλαμανδάρης“Look, I can manage without a screen!”

Followingly, Aimilios Chalamandaris referred to the Immitation of speech production methods (parametric, voice immitation as signal and hybrid voice), including the systems using speech synthesis, such as Text normalization and Unit selection. Furthermore, he described to us in which areas of everyday life this technology applies. Examples include Education (audio books, talking dolls), GPS navigation, the public transport announcements, the human-machine interface, and the preservation of languages that tend to disappear!
Those of you who wish to see and practice one of INNOETICS applications, such as writting a text and listening your computer reading the message, press here.

Νάσος Κατσαμάνης  “Look, I can manage without a keyboard!"

In the second part of the event, Nasos Katsamanis, analyzed the technology of speech recognition, converting the speech into text. Typical examples of the use of this technology, is the video subtitling in Youtube, Google voice input and telephone monitoring. Next he explained to us that for developing an application that uses speech recognition technology the following things are required: data, a list of voices, accoustic models and tools for speech recognition such as: KALDI & CMU Sphinx.
Furthermore we were informed that in some cases it is a good thing that even... “the walls have ears”. In particular there was a reference to how our fellow citizens with some form of disability can be able to use the electrical appliances in their house giving simple voice commands. The name of this project: DIRHA

Enjoy the relevant video: "My sweet home… listen!" Greek DIRHA


Finishing, for those wondering what relevance apiculture has with all the above, in SciFY Academy, we learned that the speech recognition technology is used by the beekeepers so that they can keep voice notes, due to they cannot keep written notes because of their clothing!

As a conclusion, we would like to thank the speech rapporteurs, Aimilios Chalamandaris and Nasos Katsamanis, Latsis Foundation for the sponsorship offered to us so that we can upgrade the ICSee application, and all of you that attended the event..
See you soon...

Download Mr Chalamandaris presentation here.

Download Mr Katsamanis presentation here.

You can watch the whole event of 7th SciFY Academy here.
To receive notifications about the next SciFY Academy you can register here.

SciFY Academy


Wednesday, 02 September 2015

Active Commons

Many actions have begun through an informal discussion among a group of friends ... but the truth is that the groups are making history with their ideas, which are simple yet prove so profound, make an affect on our daily lives. Moreover groups have visions and they are the incubator of countless actions ...And beyond friends, groups of citizens acting in the framework of the Civil Society.

Civil society has grown into a force that changes the world.

In SciFY we feel it is imperative to create an open source platform, which will operate as a network of interactive communication agencies and citizens groups.

What it is

The active commons is an online platform that helps individuals to participate in groups to act for a common purpose. We support the creation of local action groups, interaction and exchange of knowledge through direct open information on issues related to a wide range of activities.

An application was developed with the cooperation of non-profit organizations Culture Polis, Place Identity and Scify in the project Policy Innovation Platform and co-financing of the project "We are all citizens".

Who it is for

ActiveCommons addresses to:

  • Institutions of civil society that want to collaborate effectively online, communicate their actions and deliver results.

  • Any group or citizen that wants to be informed about the actions of civil society.

  • Organizations seeking synergies in their work.



We get even more joy when our creations travel outside the Greek borders!

The German Institute MitOst in cooperation with the Robert Bosch Stiftung Foundation used the platform as a way to support the Actors of Urban Change programme for a pilot period of almost 2 years. The Actors of Urban Change programme aims to develop cities through cultural activities. Teams from many countries participated in the platform (Italy, Spain, Serbia, Portugal and Russia and more).

Based on the experience collected, we all advanced our expertise in supporting groups of citizens get into action.

Friday, 29 May 2015

4th SciFY Academy: Sharing #OpenKnowledge for Sentiment Analysis! 

On Wednesday, at the 10th of June at INNOVATHENS in Technopolis, took place the 4rth #SciFΥacademy with the subject “Sentiment Analysis ...for the conscious ones” which was presented by Mr. Konstantinos Chandrinos and was organized by the Non for Profit computer science NGO SciFY.

Wednesday, 04 March 2015

1rst SciFY Academy: we shared #open#knowledge for Leadership in Period of Crisis! 

On Wedsday 4rth of March took place in @Innovathens the 1rst big #SciFΥacademy with the topic “Ten Leadership Tactics in Period of Crisis” from the Non-Profit NGO of innovative technologies SciFY with the cooperation of the Centre of Volunteer Managers from Greece (ΚΕΜΕΛ).

Friday, 03 April 2015
In the frame of the 2nd SciFY Academy SciFY is co-organizing the collocuium Innovating for Privacy with ΕΕΛ/ΛΑΚ, Oikomedia, and INNOVATHENS, on Friday 3rd of April (17:00-21:00) and on Saturday 4rth of April (11:00-17:00). 
Wednesday, 13 May 2015

3rd SciFY Academy “Getting started with Google Analytics”
Learn the basics for using Google Analytics on your Website

On Wendsday 13th of May, at 19.00, at InnovAthens, in Technopolis of Athens Municipality, we continue our effort with the 3rd SciFY Academy with subject “Getting started with Google Analytics”. SciFY Academy is a series of presentations for free diffusion of knowledge which is organized from the Non-Profit SciFY and is open to everyone interested.

The third presentation of SciFY Academy is made with the cooperation of InnovAthens and it will be presented by Konstantinos Skianis, Google Analytics Certified Professional, Digital Marketing Director and Co-Founder of MEDIACUBE (certifiedassociator of Google) with a focuw on: How can I begin with Google Analytics and how can I develop my Website with it.
There will be presented real examples and will be given focus on the maximum utilization of the Reports and the efficient browsing in Google Analytics. Naturally, after the presentation will follow an open discussion (Q&Α) in order to resolve questions and there will be some case studies analysis.

THe presentation adresses to marketers, young businessmen, startuppers, Marketing students and to anyone interested to learn to utilize a powerful, free tool.

As every time, there will precede a ten minute long mini-presentation (Innovation & NewTrends) for an interesting effort… (Shhhh…. it’s a secret!). Schedule of the Presentation here

More information about the event: here

For more info: Despoina Chalvatzi, M: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., T: 211 400 4192
More information about SciFY:
More information about MEDIACUBE:



Monday, 11 May 2015


ICStudy diamond logo

Today a student  with severe visual impairment has a serious problem of access to the educational process and to  educational material:

  • he/she can not see the class table, therefore cannot attend the course,

  • he/she has difficulty / cannot read the books.

The above, have obvious effects on integration, access to knowledge and the right  to learning and education. We want to change this.

The  aim of  ICStudy (I Can Study) project is to help students to:

a) be able to see what the teacher / professor writes at the interactive whiteboard and

b) read books in digital format (pdf). In this way, pupils / students can  have access to knowledge, integrate and participate meaningfully in school life, far from exclusions.

What it is

The application ICStudy processes the image of an interactive table using top (and free) real time video processing technology. Therefore, on the computer screen appears, in an understandable  manner by the student (high contrast enhancing contours of objects, etc.) information from the board. The result is that the student can see what is written or designed at any time in the interactive whiteboard.

In order to attend the course it is required:

a) the existance of an interactive whiteboard in the classroom.

b) the teacher's computer to be connected to the local network

c) the student should have on his desk a computer connected to the local network and

d) the installation of the  application ICStudy in the student’s PC

Who it is for

The ICStudy addressed to every student who has severe visual impairment. Due to the fact that the implementation of the project does not depend on language, the application can be applied in many languages and countries, since SciFY intends to offer the application for free and in open source, so that everyone can utilize / develop it.


We were asked to create a solution for a high school student with vision impairments so she could attend her courses in the classroom, as her classmates did. The student had passed the exams needed to attend an experimental high school, but she was unable to actually attend the courses! (In order to protect  the student's identity, we will not mention more information).

We also noted that in Greece there are few high schools that can adapt to visually impaired people's needs.

We took the responsibility…...and managed to:

  1. Develop a solution

  2. Offer the hardware and software of the project to the highschool, having already made two tests, one in a non-educational environment and one in the classroom, with positive results

  3. Share our knowledge and our experience, so far:

            -Presented the application in a conference for assistive technologies.

            -Present the project  in a Greek University

       4. Continue to improve and evolve the project, wishing and encouraging its installation in every school that has an interactive whiteboard making all students equivalent partakers of knowledge without exceptions and limitations.

       5. Complete the second part of the application after a funding we received by the ‘Greek Free/Open Source Software Society (GFOSS)’  from EL/LAK and we have managed to install it at KEAT school for the blind


Project ID



I want to support this project.

Tuesday, 05 May 2015

We are happy to welcome you to the 2nd Meteor Meetup.

Tuesday, 05/05/2015, at 19:30, at 17 Amfiktyonos str, 118 51 Athens. (SciFY Offices)

In this meetup, Miltos Stamos the creator of will present the installation process and the basic concepts of Meteor.
This will be the 2nd (of a series of 3) Meteor Meetup hosted by SciFY
The session is going to be in Greek. But no worries, Meteorites will be around to translate and support English participants, if needed.
After this session we'll have an open discussion as usual. Feel free to show case your current Meteor work, share the problems you where facing, and ask for help at any time. Smile

To join Meteor Community and more info check here:

Friday, 19 December 2014

We call it FeIRd. “What kind of a name is that?” you ‘d say. But this device is our child. We worked a lot of time for it to bring it to life. A lot of people, together. So that we offer to disabled friends some more independency in their everyday lives.


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