LWUIT accessible components and themes

The Product/Outcome
Exploitation Plans
Intellectual Property Rights
Technical & Socioeconomic considerations/challenges and impact
Collaborators and Future Work
Success stories

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The Product/Outcome
  1. Title of (final) product/outcome: LWUIT accessible components and themes
  2. Developer (AEGIS beneficiary): FVE for theme work, Oracle for implementation of AMAyA
  3. Purpose/main functionality & intended use: A set of three high contrast themes to ensure that users with low vision are able to use LWUIT applications. These themes can be used with most of the LWUIT applications. The intended use of the LWUIT themes is to enable low vision users to better use their Java applications. They will be built-in in the LWUIT applications that are being developed in AEGIS.
    Implementation of AMAyA via an external AMAyA Broker for LWUIT. The intended use of the AMAyA Broker for LWUIT is to support the use of assistive technologies like screen readers, screen magnifiers, on-screen keyboards, etc. with Java ME phones. See more in D1.4.3 (downloadable here)
  4. Platforms/Operating Systems/Devices: Any mobile device (feature phone) compatible with Java VM built-in, and with J2ME CLDC Virtual Machine installed will be able to use these themes. Developers can use Windows or Linux computers to integrate the themes into the mobile applications.
  5. Main innovation and comparison to the State of the Art: The LWUIT platform allows to create custom themes. The innovation of this solution is to create the first accessible themes for LWUIT to ensure that the applications provide as much contrast as possible and larger font size. The main innovation of the LWUIT themes is that they provide support for Java LWUIT applications for low vision users. The LWUIT developers do not have to make too much modifications to their applications, just add the new set of themes that will modify the look and feel of the LWUIT standard UI components. The main innovation for the AMAyA Broker is the ability to provide full accessibility API support in a dynamically loaded external library, which takes little memory or processor overhead when running, and none when not loaded. It thus allows inexpensive, mass market mobile devices to support accessibility through assistive technologies without the memory and processor requirements of more expensive phones.
    Regarding competitors, the Apple iPhone provides a global high contrast screen setting and BlackBerry also provides a clarity theme for some of their devices. The main advantage of the LWUIT themes is that they are not just a theme, but a set of themes providing the users several options. Therefore each user can select the themes that better suits their needs. With respect to accessibility API implementations, neither of these platforms provides as comprehensive an accessibility API as that in AMAyA. Furthermore, those implementations require more memory and processor overhead.
  6. Maturity level/Stage: The LightWeight UI Toolkit (LWUIT) is a mature set of user interface components for development Java ME applications. The AEGIS-developed LWUIT themes are a mature set of themes that allow standard LWUIT applications to provide large contrast with larger font sizes that support low vision uses. A first version of the themes (black-on-white, white-on-black, yellow-on-black and big fonts) are already built-in the LWUIT Resource Editor tool from Oracle (http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javame/javamobile/download/lwuit/index.html) since October 2011 and a new version is already available as part of LWUIT version 1.5, which is also now part of the Nokia beta SDK for their Asha line of mobile phones (https://projects.developer.nokia.com/LWUIT_for_Series_40). A companion, AEGIS-developed library for supporting interaction with assistive technologies from LWUIT-based applications (the “AMAyA Broker for LWUIT”) is in development at the alpha quality stage, and was tested as part of the 3rd pilot phase of AEGIS along with several LWUIT-based applications and the Screen Reader for Java Mobile.
  7. Open Source (Yes/No): Yes
  8. LWUIT resource editor (http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javame/javamobile/download/lwuit/index.html) and LWUIT for Nokia S40 devices (https://projects.developer.nokia.com/LWUIT_for_Series_40).
  9. End-user documentation: End user training material is already available in AEGIS training platform (http://aegis.bluepoint-it.ro), and there is also material from Oracle in how to use the themes in the LWUIT Resource editor tool at http://docs.oracle.com/javame/dev-tools/lwuit-1.5/devguide/resources.htm.
  10. Contact details (of the principal developer):
    • Jon Azpiroz ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
    • Mari Satur Torre ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
    • This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
    • Contact details of the Oracle developers are not publishable
Exploitation Plans
  1. Uptake by Open Source community:
    • Since when: October 2011
    • Where: These themes are part of the LWUIT resource editor that is an open source project under Java.net. Source code at Java.net (http://java.net/projects/LWUIT). The binary of the Resource editor with the accessible themes can be found at http://java.net/projects/LWUIT.
    • Figures/Downloads: 27,000 from Oracle websites, plus an unknown number from Nokia as part of the Nokia SDK.
    • License: 100% free for commercial and non-commercial use and uses the GPL + Classpath exception which allows you to redistribute it with your application
    • How: No registration is needed to download the code or use the resource editor
  2. Proprietary exploitation:
    • Time to market (since when): Already available for download as part of LWUIT 1.5 (for the themes); the additional support for AMAyA anticipated to be available within 1 year
    • Where and Who: Oracle
    • How:As part of LWUIT 1.5 (for the themes)
    • Anticipated target price/annual sales:Free
Intellectual Property Rights
  1. Intellectual property rights: Copyright of the source code belongs to FVE and Oracle. External contributors retain copyright of their submission. This development is under the OCA agreement.
Technical & Socioeconomic considerations/challenges and impact
  1. Possible market applications – further research: These themes can be used with all types of applications that would like to include accessible themes.
  2. Marketability: The LWUIT themes application is already in the market as part of the LWUIT resource editor from Oracle (available at the LWUIT project home page; http://lwuit.java.net/). Although this currently released resource editor does not have any accessibility support (the one that is being developed in the context of AEGIS), it does include the LWUIT themes since October 2011. Therefore the high contrast and large print themes are already available for LWUIT developers who use the current version of the resource editor.
  3. Deployment (so far or near future): The LWUIT high contrast themes were released in October 2011 in the LWUIT resource editor and will be also part of the updated resource editor to be released, upgraded with accessibility support. The AMAyA Broker for LWUIT does not yet have a release vehicle, but we anticipate that it will be made available to LWUIT and Java ME licensees when it is sufficiently mature.
  4. Customers: Low vision users and developers wishing to develop accessible mobile applications for them.
  5. "Go-to-market approach": There is no country/continent basis to our approach; they will simply be published on our website for anyone in the world to use. Key dissemination actions for the AEGIS LWUIT themes and the AMAyA Broker for LWUIT have been the following:
    • JavaOne – the 2011 conference / October 2 – 6 2011. Both the LWUIT high contrast themes, the AMAyA Broker for LWUIT, and the Screen Reader for Java Mobile were demonstrated in the talk “Mobile Accessibility with LWUIT”
    • CSUN - 27th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference / February 27 – March 3, 2012. Both the LWUIT high contrast themes, the AMAyA Broker for LWUIT, and the Screen Reader for Java Mobile weredemonstrated in the talk “Using the AEGIS OAF: Making Java Mobile Apps”.
    • IST-Africa 2012 9 – 11 May 2012 in Dar es Salaam. The LWUIT high contrast themes will be presented in the session “Integrating accessibility into mobile devices and connecting it to the cloud: A Java Mobile example”.
    In addition to the above, during 2012, Vodafone Spain Foundation has organised several accessibility events in Spain to promote the development of accessible mobile solutions and presented the high contrast themes as part of the success on developing accessible features for mobile applications.
    Also, FVE has introduced to the developers of the Vodafone Partner Program the AEGIS and ACCESSIBLE tools to facilitate the introduction of new accessible applications.
    FVE will upload all mobile applications to the markets (Ovi, Android, Vodafone Select) to make them available to the users and will also contact CENTAC Foundation (Spanish Center of Accessible Technologies) and CEAPAT (Spanish Reference Center for the Personal Autonomy and Assistive Technologies) to introduce them the outcomes of AEGIS.
    Finally, it will present to FCNSE (Spanish Confederation of Deaf Persons) and FIAPAS (Spanish Confederation of Families of Deaf Persons) the real-time text applications developed in AEGIS.
  6. Commercialisation barriers: The application can be used in any device with a Java Virtual Machine (MIDP 2.0 and later) and LWUIT support.
Collaborators & Future Work
  1. Collaborations: Nokia has adopted LWUIT 1.5 as part of the developer SDK for the Asha line of feature phones.
  2. Further research and development steps-future collaboration: No further collaboration (beyond Nokia) has been announced.
Success stories

All LWUIT developers can benefit of these new set of high contrast themes. A new version of the themes will be uploaded after the modifications resulting from the 2nd evaluation phase are finished. In addition, the low vision users with Java-based phones will benefit from this set of high contrast themes. These themes are integrated into the most popular developer tools for developing LWUIT applications: the LWUIT resource editor (http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javame/javamobile/download/lwuit/index.html) and LWUIT for Nokia S40 devices (https://projects.developer.nokia.com/LWUIT_for_Series_40).
The LWUIT high contrast themes were released in October 2011 in the LWUIT resource editor and will be also part of the updated resource editor to be released, upgraded with accessibility support.


Q: What types of themes are provided?
A: There are four themes that can be added to the applications: big font with very large font size and white on black colour, high contrast yellow on black, high contrast white on black and high contrast black on white.

Q: How can I add an accessible theme to a LWUIT application?
A: Use the LWUIT resource editor or the LWUIT tool for Nokia S40 devices and select the option to add new theme. You will find the four accessible themes developed in AEGIS for this platform

Q: Does it have an impact in the application?
A: The addition of the LWUIT themes will add more size to the application (about 200 kb). It will not affect the performance if the user does not select them and if the default theme is used. If the accessible themes are selected, the performance of the application will be a little bit slower because of the use of large prints.