Or, if it looks like a brick, and feels like a brick … it’s probably not a lifestyle device.
Ash Technologies have made it their business to enable people with visual impairments to lead independent, modern lifestyles. By focussing on the desires of their customers, this world leader in video technology has consistently managed revolutionary breakthroughs in the design of portable readers.
Early generations of portable readers for the visually impaired resembled smaller versions of their desktopbound cousins. Bulky and boxlike, these brutes tended to look and feel like medical not lifestyle devices, and that didn’t exactly inspire users to comfortably pop one in a bag and take it on the go.
Our relationship with Ash extends back to those days. Like everything else on the market at the time, our initial efforts to stack screen technology on top of a camera also resulted in something akin to a brick albeit a smaller one than the competitions. But still neither we nor Ash thought modern living had much in common with a brick of any size.
This is when the first of many breakthroughs occurred. What if we placed the camera on a rotating mount on the same plane as the screen, we thought. Could we lift the reader out of the medical device niche and also provide Ash with the competitive advantage of a new piece of intellectual property? The answer was yes.