As you know, Serotek is not a conventional assistive technology provider. In fact, we take pride in our willingness to think outside the box and leverage products that make a distinct mark on the customers we serve, but, the price of pulling away from the pack means succumbing to all manner of speculation perpetuated by competitors and by customers who rely on bias reviews to direct their own decisions. We have never shied away from defending our approach to development, and so following in that tradition, today we address a question that comes to our attention from time to time: Is System Access a full screen reader?Well, to begin on common ground, let's first start by defining what a screen reader is. In the way of an impartial source, we can use the American Foundation of the Blind, which sets forth the following:"Screen readers are software programs that allow blind or visually impaired users to read the text that is displayed on the computer screen with a speech synthesizer. A screen reader is the interface between the computer’s operating system, its applications, and the user. The user sends commands by pressing different combinations of keys on the computer keyboard to … [Read more...] about System Access: The Alternative Commitment
“If you live every day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right” Steve Jobs quoted an anonymous source in his speech to the Stanford graduating class in 2005. Yesterday was the day Steve was right and the world lost one of its true creative geniuses – a man who has changed each and every one of our lives in important and lasting ways. And not just with his disruptive products like the Mac and the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Those are some of his innovative tools but the real innovation was in how we relate to one another.I imagine everyone recognizes that the way we interact has changed with iPhone and iPad. Steve gave us the gift of a great communication experience. For blind people, like myself, it is more than that. Steve Jobs opened that modern world fully to me and people like me by making the full experience of his products accessible, out of the box. He had the vision to see me as a customer who wanted to be treated like any other customer and gave me the privilege of walking in a store and paying retail for a product off the shelf that immediately gave me the same access and experience as any person with sight.If the marketplace were a religion, as I guess … [Read more...] about Thank You Steve!
I’ve spent a great deal of time publicly evangelizing the merits of cloud computing, both on this blog and on the Serotalk podcast. The next logical step was to expand, in the form of a book, on my experiences as an entrepreneur of a cloud-based business and share my thoughts on the effects of cloud computing on the information technology industry as a whole. Coming soon to your favorite bookstore is my first published work, entitled “Cloudy With a Chance of Profit: You, Me, And The Cloud That Binds us”. While you wait for the book to arrive, check out this exerpt.What is the Cloud? More to the point: why should you care? It's something I would have asked back in 1997 when I first began using that new platform called Windows and the only clouds I knew were the ones from my cigars or the fog machines in the clubs where I worked as a DJ. Back then, the concept of cloud computing had not been conceived, but the Internet was causing a lot of excited noise about what this new type of communication would mean for people and businesses. I don't think even computer scientists had a clue of how the Worldwide Web would grow into the beast we see today.Let me put it this way, the Cloud means … [Read more...] about Cloudy With a Chance of Profit: Preview
With the recent release of DocuScan Plus, the product development team would like to share with the community what we believe to be a new and exciting method of developing assistive technology. We feel that this tool is especially useful when developing assistive technology because of the unique challenges involved with creating this type of software. Assistive technology, unlike some other types of software, must be simultaneously easy enough for brand new computer user's to use, yet powerful enough to satisfy the needs of those with long term experience as well. In addition, developing a product that is so essential to so many people means that great care must be taken in every step of the design process.How software is traditionally developedThe traditional method of software development is for a design team to generate specifications for a software product. After mapping as much of the product out as possible, including features, UI (which stands for user interface and defines how a user interacts with the software,) the overall capabilities of the software, pipe dreams, Et cetera, the design team hands these requirements off to the programmers. From this point forward, the … [Read more...] about Crowdsourcing as a software development tool
Serotek declares war on the traditional adaptive technology industry and their blind ghetto products. With this announcement we are sending out a call to arms to every blind person and every advocate for the blind to rise up and throw off the tyranny that has shaped our lives for the past two decades. It is a tyranny of good intentions – or at least what began as good intentions. But as the proverb says, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” And for the past two decades the technologies originally conceived to give us freedom have been our shackles. They have kept us tied down to underperforming, obscenely expensive approaches that only a small percentage of blind people can afford or master. They have shackled us to government largess and the charity of strangers to pay for what few among us could afford on our own. And we have been sheep, lead down the path, bleating from time to time, but without the vision or the resources to stand up and demand our due.That time is past.We stand today on the very edge of universal accessibility. Mainstream products like the iPod, iPhone, and newly announced iPad are fully accessible out of the box. And they bring with them … [Read more...] about The Serotek Ultimatum
I don’t usually post things from the Serotalk Podcast here, but, The Serotek Story Documentary is so compelling that I figured I would post it. Of course I’m biased!If you haven’t put the Serotalk Podcast on your RSS, shame on you! LOL! Really though, it is a great resource for information on what’s happening in the World of technology according to a few blind and rather disturbed geeks! So, if you’d like a few laughs and some pretty good information head over to the Serotalk Podcast! And hey, you might not even be sorry you did!Happy New Year! … [Read more...] about The Serotek Story Documentary A Must For your Audio Archive
Knowbility blogger Desiree at Universally Designed gives us a wonderful tutorial in Webinars in her September 2nd posting along with an introduction to Serotek’s Accessible Event, which makes this phenomenally useful tool completely accessible to the blind, deaf, and deaf-blind. Desiree gives our AE team a lot of well-deserved pats on the back. That’s the way it should be because our people are out there changing the world, one demonstration at a time. Once again Serotek has blasted the barriers and brings the latest in social networking technology to everyone.I call Accessible Event a social networking tool because online meetings are really a dimension of social networking. The one-on-one stuff is great and we make that available in many different ways, but some information is best provided to a group, all at the same time. That includes corporate meetings, webinars, university classes, sermons and presentations of many kinds – really any time one person or a group of people play show and tell to a larger group in real time. Thanks to the Internet and tools like GoToMeetinghttps://www1.gotomeeting.com/?Portal=www.gotomeeting.com and WebEx virtual meetings or webinars have been … [Read more...] about Who Says? You Can’t Build It and They Will Come
Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christiansen recently wrote an article for Technology Review outlining the Rules for Innovation. Mr. Christiansen contends that bringing innovation to market is far less of a crap-shoot than venture capitalists pretend. In fact, he outlines a handful of conditions which almost guarantee success. His rules are: Take root in disruptionHave the necessary scope to succeedLeverage the right capabilitiesAnd disrupt competitors, not customers. We looked at Serotek’s products in the light of Mr. Christiansen’s rules and by any measure we are on track for success. I would like to give you a brief tour of Serotek’s products and compare them to the factors Mr. Christiansen has identified in his research as absolute characteristics of innovation success. Taking Root in Disruption What does this mean? The premise is relatively simple. Companies that are leaders in their markets are almost never the innovators of the next technological revolution. This happens because they are well managed and listen to their customers who always tell them that they want better and less expensive versions of what they are currently selling. Thus these market leaders … [Read more...] about Serotek And It’s Disruptive Technologies