Waag Society started the research into the role of new media in the emancipation of the mentally challenged as early as 1996. A process of trial and error, in cooperation with the inhabitants and staff of care institutions led to the development of the Pilotus software.
Pilotus software enables people with a mental challenge to communicate with their relatives, friends and carers. The program integrates e-mail, chat, drawing tools, symbol sets, pictures, and text-to-speech engines in an innovative and exceptionally user-friendly interface. It is a safe and secure environment, open only to selected Pilotus groups of 2-10 people.
The Pilotus software was developed in four years between 2000-2004, using the users-as-designers method. Ongoing testing and development in collaboration with persons with a mental challenge, their families and carers enabled continual product upgrades. Pilotus can be used by the majority of mentally challenged people, thanks to adjustable settings within the program. And it can be used either at home or in a care centre setting.
In 2005 Pilotus was brought to the market as a product.