Smartbox is developer of assistive technology, based in the UK. Paul Hawes, Managing Director, has been in the industry over 40 years, working on projects including helping deaf people use telephones and emails. In 2000, Paul struck out on his own, founding ‘Sensory Software’, which became Smartbox, focusing on assistive software and hardware to go along with it.

“You get to work with the latest technology and you’re genuinely changing lives with it every day.  It’s very motivating and that allows us to achieve great things with a relatively small team.  It’s not where you are, it’s what you know.”

Problem Solving

Smartbox provides equipment for people across the disability spectrum, catering for those born with disabilities and those who may develop them.

Dougal Hawes, Business Development Director, notes that accessibility as a major obstacle for many people born with disabilities, as they may struggle to use a touchscreen or mouse – creating an issue to solve for Smartbox. Those born with speech disabilities often don’t have the literacy skills.  He notes:

“The solutions we develop have to enable people who aren’t literate to communicate, but also to develop their literacy so they end up being able to spell and do all the other things that involves later in their lives.”

Technology Advancements

The advancement of technology and the widespread emergence of consumer tablets has helped improve hardware available for disabled people.  Newer tablets are smaller, more functional and cheaper than ever before.  Smartbox now develops its own bespoke tablets, undertaking extensive consumer testing to make their products as user-friendly as possible.  Their products are truly multi-purpose incorporating SMS, phone calls, social media and voice activated services in the one device.  Devices are often fitted with extras to allow users to control items at home such as a TV and safety devices.

Smartbox’s Bespoke Tablet

Keeping It Close

Smartbox employs 70 people mainly based in their Worcestershire HQ, the company are proud of high staff retention rates. Paul Hawes notes:

“You get to work with the latest technology and you’re genuinely changing lives with it every day.  It’s very motivating and that allows us to achieve great things with a relatively small team.  It’s not where you are, it’s what you know.”

Smartbox creates technology that enhances the lives of disabled people and have now just announced that they are joining forces with Swedish company, Tobii Dynavox. It is clear that the company has an exciting future ahead.

 

Discover more about Smartbox on their website

 

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