Friday, July 2, 2010

Wow - what a move by HumanWare and GW Micro!

Two announcements, two devices from mutual competetors...

HumanWare has just unveiled a voice only version of BrailleNote Apex, appropriately named "VoiceNote Apex." At least the specs are same as BrailleNote Apex - a Freescale i.MX31 processor at 532 MHz, 256 MB RAM, 8 GB Flash, Windows Embedded CE 6.0 and so on. The only things missing are the braille dispaly and the front thumb-keys.

In comparison, GW Micro (the North American dealer of HIMS or Human Information Management Service in South Korea) announced Braille Sense ONHand, a braille keyboard and 18-cell display version of Voice Sense QWERTY. It has all the features of VSQ, namely built-in GPS receiver, Compass, PXA272 processor at 520 MHz, 128 MB of RAM and 4 GB of Flash. Better yet, the size impresses me - only 6.77 inches by 3.54 inches, almost like a large pocket PC.

My only comment at this time is that HumanWare and GW Micro are pretty equal in terms of parts, components and so forth. The true winner comes down to one sentence: communication between users themselves on helping to use these products, and the level of communication between user and companies on improving it. So far, VN Apex has better specs, yet the communication from hW seems a bit stalled or odd; the BSH's specs are a bit slower than the VN Apex, yet the level of communication from GW Micro is very good. I expect HW to improve its relationship with customers, and GW Micro to put out more useful potentials of their unit in the long run.

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