Product Hunt Columbus Recap

Empowering those with Disabilities – IDEAL Group

Empowering those with Disabilities – IDEAL Group

The IDEAL Group is a social enterprise. They’re not in the business of making a profit, but rather to develop accessibility technology to better help those with disabilities.

For example, the cost of providing closed captioning for conferences, webinars, etc. can be as high as $100/hour. Companies often can’t afford the cost which leads to their content not being available to the deaf.

Steve Jacobs, of the IDEAL Group, came to Product Hunt Columbus to demo a closed-captioning product looking to solve these issues. The product, funded by the Google Foundation, streams a transcription to a web page in real-time as a speaker presents. To show us how it works, Steve had the audience navigate to his domain on their smartphones and watch as the page instantly updated with the words of his presentation without any errors.

The product beats competition not only on price, but by allowing speakers, or a designated editor, to correct spelling mistakes live if they occur. The cost of using the product can be as low as $5, compared to $120/hour.

Another problem Steve identified is the limitations of screen readers. A blind person typically uses a screen reader to listen to the content presented on a computer screen. For example, instead of reading an online article, a visually impaired user can have their screen reader read the article aloud to them.

But when it comes to subjects like math, equations and formulas are very difficult to learn. It’s hard for someone to type a formula into a computer for a screen reader to comprehend. Therefore, many visually impaired people struggle to learn high-level mathematics.

As a solution, the IDEAL Group created a mobile app that allows users to write in an equation with their finger. The app recognizes the equation, cleans it up by converting it to a readable font, and then generates a string of characters that can be recognized and read by a screen reader. This empowers the blind to learn and solve complex math problems like never before.

Visit the IDEAL Group’s website for more information about additional products.

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