OrCam Progress Update OrCam's assistive technology news

2014-11-25 | By Orcam Staff

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OrCam Progress Update - OrCam's assistive technology news

Assistive technology news: I would like to take this opportunity to share with our current and future users and with all those interested in this unique endeavor some of the progress we have made with OrCam over the past year.


Over a year has passed since OrCam was first introduced in the media. The initial response to the concept we introduced was overwhelmingly positive, and the magnitude of excitement caught us un-prepared. We found ourselves facing enormous numbers of inquiries and requests to try out or purchase a device and to conduct various clinical evaluations. Despite the urge to release our exciting new product right away, we decided not to deviate from our plans and continued to develop the OrCam device under the radar as much as possible.


We began with an exclusive group of users with the aim of gaining real-world experience and deeper understanding of the way OrCam was being used. In November 2013 we initiated a Pre-Launch Program in which a limited group of users, who originally signed up on the OrCam website, received their OrCam device. This group included blind and visually-impaired individuals, adults and children. These early adopters were offered a special introductory price and they became the first users to receive a Pre-Launch version of the device. They also agreed to work with our team to improve the device and were made aware of the list of features, out of the full feature set, that were available at that time.


During this Pre-Launch period, we decided that we would focus on usability and some of the important features our users had identified. By starting with this small user group, we were able to develop personal connections and listen to individuals. We learned from their feedback and worked to improve the device. This direct and meaningful feedback allowed us to immensely improve the device over the course of months of work.

In parallel, we built a support team in the US which includes highly experienced low vision professionals. Our team provides new users with a complimentary one-on-one in-person training session. We also provide ongoing support, and have received very positive feedback from our Pre-Launch users on the high level of service we provide.


The Pre-Launch Program is an internal effort conducted by OrCam and designed to serve as an integral part of the development process. Throughout the past year we have slowly expanded our user base. We have attended a number of public events and provided live demonstrations of the OrCam device to the public. We elected to participate in an initial independent clinical study conducted by a well-known medical center on the East Coast. OrCam provided devices for this study, and we await the results which will be published independently by the center. We chose to limit our involvement in additional clinical studies or evaluations until we are confident in the performance of OrCam. We want to be sure that we are ready for all potential users and for additional professional evaluations.


We are aware of growing frustration linked to the fact that we have chosen to delay our official launch date, and our decision to not enter multiple clinical evaluations/studies at once. We are confident that the current study’s findings will be favorable and help guide us to further evaluations and studies in the future.


We believe in providing a truly unique and innovative solution that will help people. I wish to take this opportunity to personally apologize to our current and future users who have experienced frustration with the lengthy amount of time it has taken us. We also know that the early Pre-Launch version did not include the full list of features we plan to include in OrCam and we would like to assure you that we are still on track with our initial plans and will continue to add additional features over time.


As we gain more knowledge and continue to significantly improve OrCam (both its hardware and software), we are marching closer and closer to an official product launch in the United States, which we anticipate will occur within the next few months. Once we feel we are ready, we intend to launch the OrCam device and make it commercially available to everyone at the launch price of $3,500. Additional regions and languages will follow. All of our Pre-Launch users will automatically receive a complimentary upgrade to the newest version available at the time of our launch.


We are grateful for all the feedback and support from all the people and organizations we have had the pleasure to interact with and those who have helped us improve the solution and bring us closer to the launch date.


I hope that this comprehensive update sheds some light on our formidable progress to date. Thank you for your continued interest and support and for your patience as we continuously strive to deliver an excellent product to you. I would like to re-state our commitment to providing the visually impaired community with the life-changing technology it deserves. We are getting there!


Wishing you warm holiday greetings,
Rami Ben Yehuda
Vice President
OrCam Technologies