Archive for October, 2011

Blue Orb awarded National Science Foundation Grant

Multi-year award will help provide online entrepreneurial opportunities to persons with disabilities.

MAITLAND, FLORIDA–Blue Orb, Inc., parent company of the assistive technology keyboard orbiTouch, was awarded a three year Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Science Foundation in partnership with Central Florida Disability Chamber of Commerce. This grant focuses on providing persons with disabilities an opportunity to independently develop their own ideas as entrepreneurs. Service-disabled veterans also fall into the scope of this project.

The goal of the most recent NSF grant is to develop an online environment that allows persons with disabilities to participate more fully in the process of becoming and being an entrepreneur.

In addition to providing individuals with disabilities a tool set to improve and enhance entrepreneurship among them, the proposed collaborative environment will be a very powerful research tool to test hypotheses about the cognitive, affective, and inter-personal constructs and mechanisms involved in entrepreneurship and among persons with disabilities.

This is the second grant awarded to Blue Orb. In 2008, Blue Orb received a grant dedicated to studying communication constructs of children with autism and developing a program using assistive technology to compliment lesson plans and help children with autism achieve higher in school. This initiative, called Project Blue Skies, proved successful in helping autistic children communicate their thoughts more clearly, leading to better student-teacher understanding and higher grades.

Director of Social Media Elizabeth Rissman commented, “This endeavor will promote learning and independence among persons with special needs who want to start their own businesses. Individuals with disabilities are highly underrepresented in the national workforce, and programs like these will hopefully alleviate some of the challenges they regularly encounter.”

Blue Orb invites people with special needs to participate in this exciting program. If you or a friend or family member could benefit from this initiative, please contact elizabeth@orbiTouch.com

OrbiTouch to release new products

MAITLAND, FLORIDA–OrbiTouch, makers of the original keyless keyboard, are known for innovative design in assistive technology. We are extremely excited to announce the availability of two new products:  orbiTouch Wireless and orbiTouch for tablets. These products will be available first quarter of 2012.

OrbiTouch Wireless

OrbiTouch Wireless resembles it’s predecessor, the original orbiTouch, on all levels except one–we’ve eliminated the cord. Through listening to customer feedback, we’ve been able to create an orbiTouch that is wireless, efficient, and powerful.  orbiTouch Wireless is battery powered and works with a wireless USB receiver.

Benefits of orbiTouch wireless

Increased flexibility and mobility: Users are no longer confined to cord length.  The new orbiTouch wireless can even be mounted onto a wheelchair.

Increased comfort:  Not only does orbiTouch’s unique design take the pain out of typing, but the user can now recline in their favorite chair and use a computer comfortably from anywhere in the room.

OrbiTouch for Tablets

Within recent years, tablets from Apple and Motorola have increased in popularity due to their convenient size and practicality.  To adapt to growing consumer demand, orbiTouch has developed software that allows the consumer to use orbiTouch typing on their tablet screen.

Once the software is downloaded onto the tablet, typing is accomplished by using thumbs on the far left and right sides of the tablet screen and moving them in the same direction combinations as with the original orbiTouch. Because this typing method requires the user to use only their thumbs, one never has to put the tablet down to type.  He or she can hold their tablet in their hands at all times, which makes surfing the web and note taking easier than ever.  An orbiTouch application for Android will be debuted first, followed by an iPad application in the second quarter of 2012.

By specializing in products that make technology more accessible and user-friendly for all, orbiTouch has been able to help persons with disabilities become more connected, productive, and engaged.  We hope by offering alternatives to the standard keyboard, more people will have access to technology and hopefully, a better quality of life.

OrbiTouch Review: International Test and Evaluation Association

Up, down, left, right and into the corners. These are simple yet powerful words that are part of the context of a central Florida company located in the city of Maitland called Blue Orb, Inc. The words are associated with their uniquely U.S. designed, patented and manufactured technology tool called the orbiTouch®. It is an innovative, ergonomically honed keyboard that does not require the use of fingers or handwrist agility needed for a QWERTY keyboard and mouse.

A first look at the orbiTouch® keyboard causes you to wonder how any manner of typing is accomplished. However, it is as real and functional as a standard keyboard and mouse. The convincing moment comes when you actually try it out. There is one thing in particular that the orbiTouch® can do you wouldn’t normally think possible from a technology tool.

Hearing about or observing the transformation that takes place for adults and children who use the orbiTouch® keyboard can be a heartfelt experience, not only for the user but for amazed family and friends.

The driving force that creates such an experience stems from a passion to push the envelope for Internet accessibility and computer use. Envelope pushing that builds community, learning and independence for people who have disabilities such as cerebral palsy, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, prosthetic hands, or other types of limiting physical conditions. Individuals who are visually impaired, blind, have autism or traumatic brain injury have benefited from the orbiTouch® keyboard. It also enables people with no disabilities or non limiting conditions to find greater comfort by learning a new way of typing that can help avoid injuries or developing painful conditions associated with traditional keyboard typing.

For the entire article written by Elizabeth Hood of the Central Florida Chapter of ITEA, please visit www.facetpm.com/uploads/orbiTouch_article.pdf