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    Date submitted
  • 04-May-2017

Hidden Abilities

Abstract

Hidden Abilities creates assistive technology for people with learning disabilities, beginning with the Read ‘n Style pen, our first product which scans text and reads it aloud for people with dyslexia.

Video

Original Vimeo URL: Open

Introduction Video

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

Our target market consists of two groups. We’ll begin by targeting American colleges and universities. We interviewed decision makers within the Office of Disability Accommodations at eight local colleges. Six indicated they would purchase our product if it existed, one liked the idea but expected their students to purchase the device for themselves, and one showed no interest. We also found that most schools would need on average 5 units per 1,000 students enrolled at their school. Based on that data and the number of students currently enrolled in American universities, we'll be able to provide 148,000 units to this market. The second market “parents of students with dyslexia” market. To prove demand, we launched an Indiegogo campaign and presold more than 400 units, raising more than $128,000. This market should result in 780,000 unit sales within five prominent English speaking countries and 620,000 more elsewhere.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

For the millions of people struggling with dyslexia, reading can be the single biggest obstacle to achievement. We’ve created the Read ‘n Style pen for on-the-go dyslexic students who have trouble getting through their classwork because of their reading speed.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

Because the idea for Read ‘n Style pen was conceived by a woman with dyslexia, we have great insight into the needs of our customers. Through Jamee’s personal experience with this problem, and through extensive discussions with current and potential customers, we’ve identified multiple attributes that will set us apart and give us an advantage in the marketplace The first critical attribute is the Read ‘n Style pen’s improved usability. No other device on the market today reads in real time as the Read ‘n Style pen does. In addition, the current market leader’s technology was developed in the mid 90’s and hasn’t been upon in any meaningful way since then. As a product of outdated technology, word recognition is grossly inaccurate in our competitor’s offerings. Additionally, we’ve executed on a much improved design. The Read ‘n Style pen will not draw unwanted attention to students by featuring a slim body design and utilizing wireless earbud technology, features our customers care deeply about. Additionally, the text to speech voice software utilized in the competing products is robotic sounding and poor, whereas we’ve licensed top of the line software from the leading text to speech provider.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

We’ve assembled the ideal team to bring this product to life. Our chief programmer is married to a special education teacher, our industrial designer has a passion for helping others, and our electronics engineer’s brother is dyslexic. Personally, I (Jamee) was diagnosed with dyslexia at age 26. Since that moment, my husband Payden and I have been building Hidden Abilities to empower people just like me.