Introducing the Odisee
One blind man’s ambition to help all vision-impaired and blind people to function as independently as possible.
The Odisee is a patent pending first of its kind assistive device for the visually impaired and fully blind. Utilizing Scan-to-Speech technologies, the Odisee will read mail and other documents aloud to the user. Customers will gain an independence and quality of life that they may never have experienced before.
The Odisee will be portable so it can be used at home or on the go and it will be Wi-Fi enabled so that the user can receive expected periodic updates and upgrades through an internet connection.
Considering that many competitive products are priced in the $1,000 to $5,000 range, we believe the Odisee’s price point between $500 and $1,000 will resonate with the blind community.
We look forward to changing many of the lives of the 217 million people with moderate to severe visual impairment that live in the world today.
About the Odisee
The Odisee is much more than just a document scanner-- It is a text-to-speech device that can read printed documents.
Scans Printed Materials in Various Format
Insert a document front first, back first, upside down, it doesn't matter. The Odisee's scan-to-speech technology scans and reads an endless list of document types. Including:
- Legal Documents
Features and Capabilities
The inaugaral Odisee is designed with features that will restore the independence of the visually impaired, but with its remote update capability will only get better.
- Reads document in any orientation
- Reads aloud through Scan-to-Speech technology
- Rechargable Battery
- Compact, light-weight, portable
- Wi-Fi Enabled
- Bluetooth Connectivity
- Additional Languages and Voice Options
- Voice Controlled Commands
- Currency and Credit Card Recognition
- Multi-page scanning
- Odd shaped documents and horizontal text recognition
- Bill Paying Service
- Autistic Focused Solutions
- Language Translation Focused Solutions
Launching Early 2021
Product design and development is headed by GenOne Technologies in Cambridge, MA. The first prototype was delivered in the fall of 2018 with a staged prototype development plan completed in 2019.
The Odisee’s contract manufacturer has been selected (Surmotech, Victor, NY) as well as our materials sourcing advisor (Arrow Electronics) and we expect the first production run to be completed later this year.
Benefits of the Odisee
Quality of Life
By restoring the ability for the vision-impaired to be able to read anything that comes at them, people will be able to regain the ability to experience all facets of their life, especially everything that occurs in a printed medium, like printed greeting cards for example.
Dignity, Independence, and Confidence
With the ability to be able to “read” printed materials without having to rely on others, no longer will vision-limited persons have to feel like that they are somehow inferior to sighted persons.
The Odisee restores independence as the vision-impaired persons will be able to deal with the printed materials (eventually including paper currency) that come at them on a daily basis without having to rely on someone else to read it to them.
Similarly, the vision impaired community can be confident, using the Odisee, that nothing of the printed word will get past them, and that they will be able to interact equally with the individuals in their personal, family, and professional lives.
For spousal and care-giver relationships, using the Odisee will relieve spouses and care-givers of one of the most mundane care tasks possible, allowing the relationship to have less of a dependent feel to it, and more balance.
Vision-impaired persons working in an office environment that is heavily paper-based historically have struggled to deal with all the paper. Now, however, using the Odisee they will be able to appropriately read and interpret those printed materials, making the vision-impaired population more employable.
By giving the vision-impaired community a means for reading whatever comes at them, no longer will a sightless or low-vision individual have to fear that someone is taking advantage of them by misrepresenting what has been communicated to them in written form.
For nearly everyone in life, monthly or periodic bills tend to come in amounts that vary, even if only slightly, but the penalties for paying the wrong amount—i.e. too little—are the same whether you have full vision or do not. Using the Odisee ensures that a vision-impaired person will be able to read statements and bills and deal with them appropriately.
By using the Odisee, no longer will a vision-impaired person have to worry that an important piece of mail might slip through the cracks and go unread or unanswered. Now each piece of mail can be read as it is received.
Missed Events and Responsibilities
While many doctors and other professional providers have taken to placing reminder phonecalls, many still send postcards in the mail to remind people of upcoming events or appointments. No longer will a vision-impaired person have to fear that something legitimate like an appointment reminder postcard will get mistakenly tossed out as junk mail because they will be able to quickly read each piece of mail and deal with it appropriately.
Cost of Hired Support
For members of the low-vision or blind community that rely on the services of aides or other paid professionals to assist them with their daily activities, the Odisee allows such people to lessen their reliance on the third-party caregivers, and thus potentially reduce their long-term-care out-of-pocket costs.
All too often, when purchasing a big-ticket item or even just going to the doctor’s office and being expected to sign a HIPAA Sharing Notice or Financial Responsibility Agreement, so many of us fear that we are signing our lives away in the fine print. Now, low-vision individuals can bring the portable Odisee device with them (or doctor’s offices can provide a unit to serve their vision-impaired patients) and have these forms and documents read aloud to them.
Who Should Buy the Odisee?
From the totally sightless to individuals with low-vision the Odisee is the ideal solution for day-to-day independence.
For those who simply cannot read their own mail, news articles, or other printed materials, the Odisee is the ideal solution to restore a certain level of independence in day-to-day life. The Odisee has been designed to be highly intuitive in its use, and will benefit all blind persons who are able to hear spoken words.Low Vision
According to projections from a variety of medical research outlets, the prevalence of diabetes is on the rise and will continue to rise in light of growing obesity rates and the growing prevalence of sugar-laden beverages, foods and desserts in the daily diets of citizens. Vision loss attributable to diabetes will also continue to rise over time, leading to an increased need for devices and solutions to assist with the day-to-day activities of a population with declining vision.
Whether you are an organization helping the vision impaired or a donor looking to help, buy the Odisee to help the people you serve.
For those organizations who broadly serve the low-vision and totally-blind populations, the Odisee is a fantastic solution to help people with their day-to-day lives. As a benefit to their clients and those receiving assistance or support, the Odisee can help restore a feeling of independence and self-sufficiency.Philanthropists
Buy devices, and then donate them to hospitals, human-services organizations serving the blind, donate them to schools for the blind, and especially for under-privileged individuals with vision loss.
Family and Caregivers
Help family members or loved one with vision impairment or special needs gain the independence they deserve.
The Odisee is a great enabler that can help alleviate the time needed to read mail or other printed materials to those who need it. By providing an Odisee reader to a family member who may need it, the family is providing a tool to help improve the daily life of the person(s) they care for.Special Learning Needs Individuals
For the family members and/or care-givers of children or adults with special learning or cognitive needs, such as Autism, the Odisee can be the enabling tool that will reduce their burden while also enhancing comprehension and retention. For instance, the Odisee can read and re-read printed materials—such as a literally passage or lesson—an unlimited number of times to ensure the material has been understood and will be retained.
Odisee was created out of one blind man’s ambition to help all vision-impaired and blind people be able to continue to function as independently as possible.
As a text-to-speech device for the low-vision and no-vision community, the Odisee can read mail aloud to you, regardless of how you pass it through the device.
The company’s vision is to provide Odisee readers to low-vision and sightless individuals, to human services organizations who serve the vision-impaired community, to family members of low-vision individuals, to care-givers of low-vision individuals. Beginning with a feature-rich launch product, Odisee is expected to gain additional functionality as the product evolves.
Odisee’s founder and inventor, Mr. Robert (Bob) Sotile, is a lifelong entrepreneur. And Mr. Sotile happens to be totally blind.
“I haven’t always been blind, but over the years I developed irreversible retinitis pigmentosa (RP). First, I had to stop driving. I was having trouble seeing people and things clearly. “As it got worse, I would hold my mail, the newspaper, and books right up to my face to try to read them. Then I tried magnifiers, but it just became more and more difficult for me even to read.”
Unfortunately, Mr. Sotile’s RP progressed until he could no longer see anything at all. But in a world that relies so much on the printed word, mail and other printed materials are still an essential part of our daily lives.
“Increasingly I had to rely on my wife or other people in my life to read my mail and other documents to me every day. But this felt more and more like an imposition on them, and I so wanted to maintain my ability to function independently
“Having tried scanners and magnifiers and other tools for reading, tools that often just made me more frustrated, I thought about how I could create a solution that would help other blind and vision-impaired people continue to be able to function fully in their daily lives.
“I needed to invent something to help people. And that’s when I created the Odisee.”
The Odisee product line is produced by the Vision Products Division of The Cone Buddy’s Corporation.
The Cone Buddy’s Corporation was founded in 1997 by distinguished entrepreneur Robert C. Sotile in Rochester, New York. It began with a food safety product targeting the frozen confections market, but subsequently grew to include hygiene products for adult beverages, as well as products for the game and entertainment industry. The Vision Products Division is the latest addition to the growing line of unique offerings produced by The Cone Buddy’s Corp.
The Cone Buddy’s Corporation is headquartered in Rochester, New York. Contact us at (585) 427-9940 or visit www.buddysystemusa.com.
In Bob’s senior English class in high school, the teacher wasn’t very fond of Bob, though it wasn’t because he was a troublemaker.
One day in class, they were studying Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey stories. In an effort to “call out” Bob, the teacher picked Bob to recite Homer’s headless horseman from the Odyssey… from memory. To the English teacher’s surprise, Bob rose to the occasion and began reciting. After several minutes of reciting, Bob was told to stop and sit down.
Though much later in life, this experience left a lasting impression on Bob, and became a metaphor for the changes he underwent when he lost his vision, and the ways his life changed when he had to rely more and more on his memory and other senses. Specifically, rather than being able to read documents on-demand, Bob had to be able to recall and recite the content of things that were read to him.
For Bob, being able to create a device that would help others avoid being “put on the spot” like he had so many years ago was the personal “Odyssey” that Bob embarked upon, and that is what inspired the Odisee name.
Let's Get In Touch
When You Talk You Teach, When You Listen You Learn.
The Odisee team would like to hear what's on your mind. Tell us your opinion of the Odisee, good or bad, any features you'd like added/changed/upgraded/etc. Your ideas will help us become better at addressing the needs of the the visually impaired community.