WILMINGTON, DE — Orbit Research announced today that the company will integrate the Framework ecosystem into its products starting with the Optima Braille Laptop Computer from AccessMind, a new enterprise founded by Orbit Research and a team of veteran software developers. The highly customizable, upgradable and repairable platform will offer unprecedented flexibility and performance to assistive technology products.
The Optima transforms the assistive technology landscape which has traditionally seen custom-designed proprietary computing products, by offering all the power, features, functionality, configurability and upgradability that people have come to expect from common desktop computers. It is an optimal combination of a full-featured mainstream computer with braille and speech output and a QWERTY keyboard in a sleek and compact handheld form-factor; a high-performance Windows-based machine that can accomplish any task from word-processing and internet-surfing to highly demanding professional workloads such as video editing and software development. The Optima is the only product that puts users in complete control by offering them configurability before they purchase it and full upgradability after.
“We’re amazed to see how Orbit Research has leveraged modules from the Framework ecosystem to enable a high-performance braille laptop” said Nirav Patel, CEO of Framework. “We designed our modules from the start to be reusable outside of the Framework Laptop, but this goes beyond anything we envisioned.”
The Framework ecosystem is known for its modular design, which allows users to easily replace and upgrade individual components such as the processor, memory, and storage. This makes it easy to keep the device up to date and running smoothly, and also reduces electronic waste by minimizing the need for full device replacements. In addition, the Framework Laptop is built with sustainability in mind, using recycled materials and providing detailed information about the origin and environmental impact of each component.
“By integrating the Framework ecosystem into the Optima braille laptop computer, we are able to offer a level of configurability, upgradability and repairability that has never been possible in the assistive technology market. Orbit’s quarter-century of experience in designing and manufacturing highly complex and advanced systems such as the Graphiti have enabled us to engineer the Optima in a manner that offers the flexibility of the Framework ecosystem with the robustness of the Orbit TrueBraille™ platform while accommodating it in the unique ergonomic and compact form-factor of the Optima.” said Venkatesh Chari, CEO of Orbit Research and co-founder and CEO of AccessMind.
“This allows us to provide users with truly innovative and sustainable products that will meet their needs for years to come. For far too long, users have only had the choice of traditional braille notetakers which are extremely expensive, have very limited hardware capabilities, and lock users into a closed system that is obsolete the day it is released. These notetakers require both students and teachers to learn specialized proprietary user-interfaces and then re-learn the use of mainstream computing platforms such as Windows or Mac computers as they enter the workforce.
“The Optima changes this forever. Orbit’s disruptive educational and braille products have set the bar for breakthrough functionality, performance, quality and affordability by developing solutions based on mainstream manufacturing practices. Integration of this flexible platform is yet another milestone in our journey towards leveling the playing field by introducing to the assistive technology industry the benefits of cutting-edge mainstream computing technology, and the ease of configurability and upgradability that the Framework ecosystem pioneers.”
“We believe that technology should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities or needs,” said Adi Kushnir, co-founder and CTO of AccessMind and a veteran developer of assistive technology software. “By integrating the Framework ecosystem, we are taking an important step towards making that goal a reality. The Optima offers a no-compromise solution that bridges the gap between mainstream and assistive technology products by providing options in configurability, not only in hardware but also in software.
“Having been built to run standard Windows, the Framework ecosystem is future-proof with respect to operating system updates and the Optima also offers AccessMind’s specially developed BrailleUI software. BrailleUI provides a simple notetaker-like custom-designed braille-first user experience for a set of common applications such as a book reader, braille editor, calculator and file manager to seamlessly bridge the gap between a simple dedicated user interface and the mainstream Windows experience.”
The Optima will be available in Q1 2024 and customers will be able to choose from a variety of configurations and customization options, including different state-of-the-art processors, memory, storage, braille technologies and keyboard layouts.
Visit www.orbitresearch.com/product/Optima for more information.
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