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Innovating Accessibility: OrCam's Support At KSSB-Make48

In the bustling halls of the Kansas State School for the Blind (KSSB), anticipation has filled the air as the Make48 competition draws near. OrCam, a sponsor of this year’s KSSB-Make48 competition, will stand out as a Tool Tech in the upcoming event.  I spoke to Taylor Yoke, an OrCam representative and an advocate for their assistive technology. Taylor will represent OrCam at the competition this April and is eager to showcase their latest creation: the Read 3, equipped with groundbreaking AI capabilities.





What is OrCam ?


OrCam is not just a company, but a motivation for change in the realm of accessibility. With a simple yet powerful mission—to empower individuals to engage with the world around them—OrCam has developed a range of assistive technology devices, each designed to address specific needs of the visually impaired community, as well as neurodevelopmental disorders, the elderly, and other disabilities.


“When I learned about the competition, I immediately knew OrCam would recognize the opportunity to encourage entrepreneurialism, within a demographic where people are often overlooked because of their disability,” Taylor told me. “And to give them a medium to showcase their skills and capabilities while fostering innovation is paramount.” 


The heart of OrCam’s innovation lies in its integration of artificial intelligence. Unlike traditional assistive technologies that rely on cut-and-dried functions, OrCam’s devices boast AI algorithms capable of understanding and responding to the user. With the Read 3, OrCam has taken a leap forward, introducing the "Just Ask" feature—a revolutionary addition that has transformed the device into a versatile AI assistant.


Taylor's enthusiasm was contagious as he demonstrated the Read 3's capabilities. With a simple point and click, users can access a world of information, from reading text to identifying objects and even conducting internet searches. The device's ability to elaborate on information contained in media that users provide creates a conversational experience, building on questions users have asked in that session, catering to the unique needs of each individual.


KSSB-Make48 Competition 


For the visually impaired students at KSSB, OrCam’s partnership with Make48 will be a game-changer, with every team participating receiving a Read 3 to utilize at the competition, which will be maintained at their school after the competition for student utilization. This is the third event at the Kansas State School for the Blind, and this year six schools for the blind from around the country will participate, with KSSB students mentoring them along the way. 


The timing of the competition and OrCam’sRead 3 launch couldn’t be any better. “Just a few weeks ago the Read 3 project was ready. This will be an ideal platform to showcase our groundbreaking tool.” Taylor has collaborated with Nanopac, a renowned assistive technology provider, through KSSB. But the April event will be the first timeOrCam will witness firsthand the impact of their devices in a makerspace. 


OrCam’s commitment to accessibility extends beyond product development. Collaborating with organizations like KSSB, OrCam has sought to ensure that their technology has reached those who need it most. Through partnerships with schools and other support services, OrCam aims to make its devices accessible to all, regardless of financial barriers. The Make48 competition will provide OrCam with a platform to share their vision of a more inclusive world. 


By harnessing the potential of AI and assistive technology, OrCam is not only changing lives, but also reshaping perceptions of what was possible for individuals with visual impairments. As the competition draws closer, OrCam has emerged not only as a sponsor but as a partner in the journey towards greater accessibility. With Read 3 leading the way, OrCam will continue to push the boundaries of innovation. To schedule a free device demonstration, contact usorcam@orcam.com or call 1-888-404-4886.

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