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Serotek Releases the World’s First Web-based Access Technology Tool for the Blind

June 13, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Contact:

Janelle Schulenberg

Tacet Consulting

612-720-1068

janelle@tacetconsulting.com

Serotek Makes Web 2.0 Accessible to the Blind

Technology Company Introduces SA To Go

Minneapolis, Minn. – June 13, 2007 – Serotek Corporation, the leading provider of Internet and digital information accessibility software and services, announces the public beta release of a web application called SA To Go (System Access To Go), the first product to make Web 2.0 accessible to the blind and the visually impaired. SA To Go is a web-resident product stemming from Serotek’s award-winning System Access software. More than a screen reader, System Access requires no installation and provides complete control of your e-mail, makes web surfing easy, and offers intuitive access to Microsoft Office productivity tools like Word, PowerPoint and Excel. SA To Go makes System Access available on the Web for instant operation and has no permanence on the using computer. Users can now access System Access software anytime, anywhere that Internet access is available.

“We believe SA To Go will revolutionize the way blind people use the computer,” said Mike Calvo, CEO, Serotek Corporation, “That’s why we felt it critical to leverage the power of Web 2.0 to continue to fulfill our promise of accessibility anywhere.”

SA To Go provides instant accessibility. Once online, users can visit www.SAtoGo.com and it appears in seconds. When finished, the user simply closes the program and any personal information vanishes leaving the host computer completely unchanged.

“Microsoft applauds Serotek’s innovation with respect to access for all,” said Daniel Hubbell, Technical Evangelist, Microsoft Corporation, “SA To Go is a revolution for people who need access to computers away from home.”

Because of technologies like Fonix’s text-to-speech and its small size, SA To Go loads within seconds giving the blind user the same access on the go as his sighted peers. And since SA To Go is a true web application, accessibility is no longer an expensive option; companies that want to provide public accessibility to customers can do so for a fraction of the cost.

“Serotek’s new SA To Go application gives blind and visually impaired users quick, convenient access to PC functions,” says Tim K. Hong, VP of Sales, Fonix Speech, Inc. “SA To Go incorporates Fonix text-to-speech, which is optimized to provide clear, intelligible TTS voices without using large amounts of processing power or memory. Fonix speech technology is a good fit for Serotek’s System Access Mobile applications.”

Serotek is putting the system out for public Beta because they are encouraging user input. The company can imagine hundreds of applications but believes users will direct its true potential.

“We think we’ve only scratched the surface of the potential of SA To Go,” says Calvo, “That’s why we’re inviting users to take it for a spin and let us know how they think it might be applied.”
The company will be surveying users on a regular basis and encouraging users to e-mail their ideas and comments to SAToGo@serotek.com.
To participate in the public beta, users can go to http://www.satogo.com and follow the instructions. Immediate accessibility will lead the user through the registration process. For more information about Serotek and its family of System Access accessibility tools, visit www.serotek.com.

Serotek Corporation

Serotek Corporation is a leading technology company that develops software and manufactures accessibility solutions. Committed to the mission of providing accessibility anywhere, Serotek launched an online community specifically designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities. Since then, Serotek has introduced several powerful, affordable solutions that require minimal training, including System Access, for which it was awarded the prestigious da Vinci award for innovation in universal accessibility by the National Multiple Sclerosis Association. For more information, visit www.serotek.com.

Fonix Corporation

Fonix Corporation (OTC BB: FNIX), based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is an innovative speech recognition and text-to-speech technology company that provides value-added speech solutions through its wholly owned subsidiary, Fonix Speech, Inc., currently offering voice solutions for mobile/wireless devices; interactive video games, toys and appliances; computer telephony systems; the assistive market and automotive telematics. Fonix provides developers and manufacturers with cost-effective speech solutions to enhance devices and systems. Visit www.fonix.com for more information, or call (801) 553-6600 and say “Sales.”

Microsoft Corporation

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. For more information, visit www.microsoft.com.

Categories: Serotek

10 opinions on “Serotek Releases the World’s First Web-based Access Technology Tool for the Blind

  1. The first, huh? PR crap like this is insulting.

    “System Access requires no installation.” That’s interesting. The first thing that happens when you access the page is you have to download and install a file.

    I have to admit that’s as far as I went – after two misstatements or lies in the first two paragraphs I’m not sure I trust them to be installing software on my computer.

  2. Being extremely technical about this, yes, many web sites are constantly asking to install ActiveX controls and similar components on our computer. All the same, it is just a web-based ActiveX type control. It is not like installing a piece of software. Note that this works on most public machines, such as those in libraries, where the user’s privileges are extremely limited. Sa To Go must, after all, run some sort of program on your computer in order to do its job of providing access…

  3. I also must say that noone should complain about it until they have at least tried it. You have nothing to lose and, possibly, quite a bit to gain from the experience.

  4. I am happy that Serotek has created this product as I think it has a lot of potential and is a great idea. Now I have a huge problem with the marketing statements however. “Serotek Makes Web 2.0 Accessible to the Blind” This implies something completely different and allowing people to believe what this implies is very dangerous to our fight for accessibility. This does NOT serve to make web 2.0 accessible to the blind. Therefore this statement is misleading and a lie. It uses web 2.0 technology to do what it does and therefore it is an accessible web 2.0 application. I do not appreciate marketing crap like this and I otherwise am a supporter of what the company is doing and their state mission. If there stated mission has the level of accuracy of these statements in this marketing there is nothing to stand behind though. I do believe that the company is much more dedicated than that and what has been put out demonstrates that. Lies in marketing undermine credibility though.

  5. I think it sounds pretty cool, but they haven’t sent my email yet. The download read to me though.

    I wonder though – I am pretty sure that an exe file would be blocked by most firewalls.

  6. Let me first address Jared Smith’s comment. Actually we install nothing. You download and run but don’t install. SAToGo runs in a sandbox used by IE under Windows and works on machines even with guest privileges. Once it is closed or the machine is rebooted all traces of SAToGo are gone. SAToGo is just like System Access on a U3 key or CD in the way it works accept the delivery method to the PC is via the net and done in chunks instead of all at one time. This makes it great as an alternative accessibility method when a computer you want to use doesn’t have easy access to a USB port or CDRom because of security or location of the ports.

    Now Bill’s comment:

    Home firewalls have proved to be a bit of a challenge however most public places depend on the OS’s security and not on personal firewall software like you would use at home. Even in corporate installations, where hardware firewalls are used, SAToGo will usually get through. All communication with our servers is done over http or SSL depending on what the user is doing and both of these ports are usually open by default on public computers. Personal firewalls would rather tell you everything that goes on in your computer, popping up Windows because you are usually logged on as admin and anything you do can effect the computer, This is especially because of spiware that is really not a problem on public computers because of what I mentioned above. so this is why SAToGo may not be the best option for home. But, after all, SAToGo is just for that, to go. If not it would be SA For Home right? If you need something at home then you should use System Access or if you use a “screen reader” use that at home and SAToGo when you are on the road and need accessibility.

    A note about Web 2.0 statement

    In the release we talk about Web 2.0. Sorry if this is kinda confusing for some folks. All System Access products support Ajax under IE for MS Live, Google (including GMail), and Yahoo. We actually think of SAToGo as a Web 2.0 application because it is delivered up to the user from a server. We didn’t mention all of these services and the differences because press releases are supposed to be short and sweet. To wet the apatite of reporters to come looking for more. To think that a company would read this release and think that they didn’t have to do anything more about Web 2.0 accessibility because of what we say, just wouldn’t make sense.

    Thanks for all your comments and keep them coming. I know this is a brand new technology and in many cases hard to believe. But, we are here to serve and answer any questions, critiques, suggestions, etc. Please do try it in as many public situations as possible and let us know your findings. After all that’s what a public beta is for.

  7. More About Home Firewalls

    Well um, we have fixed the home firewall issue. Well, kind of. Now when you run SAToGO for the first time using a home firewall you will still have to allow it but that’s it. No Mord, never again. SMILE. Thanks for your challenging emails, phone calls, and comments, asking us to fix that. Just goes to prove once again that when you set your will to do something it usually gets done.

  8. I’ve tried SATOGO at home & although it can’t compete with Jaws it’s not bad & I can see how useful it would be away from home.

    I wish it would save the settings for y account rather than my having to go in and reset them every time. Overall I can see the beginnings of a great product here.

  9. hey all,that sounds really really cool to me !!
    i have personally work on couple of accessibility products!
    The way SA to go works is really nice and new revolution in the accessibility domain.
    what i would like to see is that if the company is planning to make it open source so that growth is even more fast and more innovative idea can be fitted in to make it really a big big thing!
    Hey guys hats of to you gr8 work!!

  10. hey , frist of all lemme congrats for the guys for this awesome efforts!
    it is really a new revolution in the field of accessiblity !
    i have personally work on few accessiblity tools! but this concept really a new one and i am sure it has given entry for the accessibility tool in the webworld!
    what i personally think is that such product must be made open source for there popularity and growth !
    We wanna see an era where accessibility tools also comes up with new business model in terms of making business and also providing people with new expierence which they may have never thought off!!!

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