FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kevin Fox
Phone: 541.753.6645 x14
Breakthrough in Assistive Technology is Changing People’s Lives
Corvallis, OR (April 15, 2005) –Lisa’s 4 year old son Billy has Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 1, a disease that has minimized his movement and muscle control, leaving him with just the slightest movement in his hands. After trying several, very expensive, alternative input devices and being disappointed with the results Lisa found the SmartNAV from NaturalPoint. The SmartNAV is a hands free mouse alternative that allows for complete control of a computer using only slight head movements, or in Billy’s case arm movements. The SmartNAV can help a wide range of people from those with physical disabilities like ALS and quadriplegia, to those who are experiencing pain from repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Head tracking devices, like the SmartNAV, have been on the market for years, so while this is not a revolutionary new type of device, the price is. The industry standard price for head tracking devices is $1,000, which does not include the software necessary for complete computer control. If a user wants the ability to perform an actual mouse click, that software will cost them extra. The SmartNAV product line ranges in cost from $199 to $399, with the $399 model offering built in dwell-clicking and on-screen keyboard for truly complete computer control. These prices allow families and friends to purchase the device without needing insurance companies or subsidies, which can be very slow or may not be available. Nearly 80% of SmartNAV purchases are funded personally without the need for grants or insurance companies.
A common misconception is that because of the low price the SmartNAV is inferior to the $1,000+ head tracking devices. Reading through the product testimonials, one will discover that many users have replaced their older, more expensive head-controlled mice with the SmartNAV. When asked how the SmartNAV delivers the same performance as competitors at a fraction of the cost, NaturalPoint’s president Jim Richardson says that “when I was designing the SmartNAV I was driven from the perspective of what a user would need, including the need to be able to afford the device.” This focus included incorporating cutting edge technology that allowed Jim to eliminate the need for costly microchips by utilizing the power of modern computers.
Jim Richardson’s awareness of assistive technology needs was brought into focus in 1997 by his cousin who had suffered a debilitating injury and who provided Jim with his inspiration 8 years ago. Since then the inventor, company and concept have advanced substantially. NaturalPoint has grown into an innovative company with a focus on developing and providing assistive technology that is affordable for everyone without sacrificing quality or features. Today NaturalPoint is helping change lives, by providing opportunities for people all over the globe to open their world and communicate through their computer. For further information on NaturalPoint products and to access testimonials about the SmartNAV visit www.naturalpoint.com/smartnav