2014 has been a good year for InvoTek. We’ve received three new SBIR grants on important research topics. We’ll be improving the health of people without hand-grip by developing a new accessible handcycle. We’ll improve the ability of people who can’t use the telephone to stay connected with family and friends. And we’ll investigate new augmentative communication strategies for the most severely disabled among us.
We also received a five year grant as a partner in the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (RERC on AAC). This prestigious research team is led by Janice Light from Penn State and Melanie Fried-Oken from the Oregon Health and Sciences University. We’ll be addressing the needs of a wide range of people who cannot use their natural speech effectively.
InvoTek released a new product last week. GWP is a cool onscreen keyboard that controls up to three other devices through Bluetooth. The wide variety of available smart devices helps people to connect with others and access the web. However, for people without good control of their hands, these devices are very hard – if not impossible – to use. GWP lets these people use one easy-to-access device to control several other devices.
InvoTek also completed a few research projects. Our work on a dementia caregiving simulator showed a lot of promise. We need additional funding before this can be a product, but I think this technology will help caregivers to provide the best possible care. The technology for our RealTalk project will be a product soon. And EasyVSD, our early childhood communication software, is producing great results. It will also be a product soon.
Finally, our work with Be Extraordinary continues to impact lives. It really changes the way our engineers design when they spend time working with people who need technology to achieve their life goals. We’ve helped three new clients in the last six months. Two are young guys that we are helping to take college classes, the other is a grandmother who lost the ability to read independently. The guys successfully completed their first semester, and the grandmother is on page 242 of her Nook-based book. To date, Be X has helped 30 people achieve their life goals.
I’m very grateful to be a part of InvoTek and Be X. There is always room for us to improve, but I am in awe of what a handful of dedicated people achieve each year. It has been a very good year for us. I hope it has been a good year for you too. Here’s to 2015!