The world is a beautiful place and our eyes help us see and cherish it all. Our sight, which we so often take for granted, is actually one of the greatest blessing bestowed upon us by nature. Sadly not all are that lucky. For visually impaired people the world around them is either just a blur or is in total darkness.
Thanks to advancement in technology, today these individuals are no longer crippled with their imparity. One such mobile app that is available to improve visually impaired folks’ quality of life is BlindShell. Available for download on your play store, this app offer a simple solution for such users to effectively move past their old traditional Nokia phones and switch to tech savvy Android smartphones.
Meet The Mastermind Behind BlindShell!
This app was conceptualized and co-founded by Petr Svobodnik and Daniel Novak.
Petr, who is also the CEO, is a coordinator and lead programmer. His previous work stint also includes working with Assistive Technology and Target Group for more than 4 years.
Daniel is also a coordinator. Over the years he has also mustered experience in marketing, distribution, patent leading and publication. He has worked for more than 2 years with Target Group.
Know The App Better!
BlindShell is a smartphone application providing access to the Android system for visually impaired users. The application is controlled by simple touch gestures and has seamlessly integrated a unique, easy-to-use keyboard for writing numbers and texts.
The duo wants BlindShell to be the referential solution for touch phone control for visually impaired users. Through this app they are offering a simple yet effective solution to control touch mobiles for this specific community.
The Problem BlindShell is Solving Beautifully!
There are over 285 million visually impaired users. Unfortunately this community has been neglected by technology for a while now. Currently, vast majority use traditional keyboard-based mobiles as they are afraid of using touch phones. BlindShell offers the simplest solution to control touch mobiles for this community.
“I was meeting blind users at university. They didn’t use touch phones. They used old Nokia phones with speak software. Only technical experienced users were using touch phone, but had great problems with its controls. Lots of users were afraid of smartphones. So I thought that it would be a great market opportunity for such a solution”, says Petr.
On Challenges Faced & Competitors
The biggest hurdle till date was earning the trust of the target users. The team had to walk that extra mile to convince them that this app was here to enable them to effectively use smartphones.
In terms of competition, Mobile Accessibility from Code Factory, TalkBack from Google, Telorion Vox, Project Ray and Voice Over from Apple pose as potential competitors. However, these applications are insanely expensive (ranging anywhere between 90 to 750 USD) and are relative complicated to use.
On the contrary, BlindShell is very intuitive and easy to use (45 minutes on an average for new smartphone blind users) and cheap (from 100 USD for whole solution with device).
On Expansion Plans & Target Audience
“We want to expand to markets such as India, Brazil, China. We would like to hit thousands of users. By 5 years we would like to have 5% market share, about 1.9 million of users”, says the team.
When it comes to target audience, as mentioned above BlindShell is mainly for visually impaired users who use mobile devices. Most of them are located in India, China, Europe and USA.
On Plans of Monetizing
The team has finalized on 3 distribution channels for monetizing the app. Firstly they wish to approach NGOs and companies that offer accessibility products for visually impaired for including BlindShell to their offer. In Czech Republic the biggest NGO SONS already offers this solution as a package. Secondly, they plan on selling this app on Google play. Lastly, adopt the B2B model wherein they approach mobile operator and phone manufacturer to install the application into phones.
Well based on the above, it is safe to say that BlindShell is here to make a really powerful difference! So if you know someone who is visually impaired, do brighten up their day by introducing them to this kick-ass app.
To know more about BlindShell, do make it a point to visit: www.blindshell.com
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