SBIR and STTR Success Story for
iVisit, LLC

(Information Posted/Updated on 04/02/2010)

iVisit, LLC
2043 Colorado Ave.
Suite 4
Santa Monica, CA  90404

Contact:    Orang Dialameh
Phone:      310-857-6547
Fax:          310-857-6593
E-mail:      orang@ivisit.com
Web Site:  http://www.looktel.com

Project Title:  LookTel (formerly SeeStar/SeeScan)
Related Award(s):  1R43EY016953-01, 2R44EY016953-0
Technology Developed:
LookTel is a mobile application for Smartphones that provides a full suite of accessibility and assistance solutions for visually impaired users. LookTel combines real-time object recognition that lets users identify specific objects such as packaged goods, CDs, and money with text-reader capabilities using Optical Character Recognition (OCR). If additional help is desired, the user can immediately connect with a friend or family member using live video or audio chat directly from their mobile phone.

Key Words:  blind, visually impaired, mobile app, phone accessibility, object recognition, OCR, text reader, video conferencing.
Uses of Technology/Products/Service:
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are over 345 million visually impaired people worldwide, with more than 11 million in the U.S. alone. Until now, these users have not had access to an all-in-one mobile device providing a variety of assistance solutions. Rather, to gain access to tools such as digital magnifiers and optical character recognition (OCR) to turn text into speech, they are forced to buy dedicated devices and applications that can end up costing thousands and are extremely cumbersome to carry around. LookTel solves this problem by providing a full suite of advanced assistance solutions on an off-the-shelf mobile phone that is fully accessible and can be used every day. LookTel also integrates advanced assistance solutions that up until now have never been available such as mobile object recognition. Over the past few years, close to 40 users have been testing the system and have provided convincing feedback that LookTel dramatically increases their functional independence. LookTel was recently awarded first place at the 2010 CTIA E-Tech Awards for Mobile Applications in the Healthcare category.

Benefit to Company:
With funding from the SBIR program, iVisit, LLC is impacting the lives of visually impaired, blind and elderly users by increasing functional independence and providing an affordable all-in-one solution that can be used as both a fully-featured accessibility solution and an everyday cell phone. SBIR funds have allowed iVisit to develop the underlying technology powering the solution and conduct end-user trials in partnership with the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs’ Atlanta Research & Education Foundation (AREF) and Blind Wisdom to prove the technology as a valuable tool for visually impaired users and improve usability and accessibility.

How Product Was Commercialized:
iVisit, LLC formed IPPLEX, LLC to commercialize LookTel and sell directly to consumers and specialty distributors. IPPLEX has also partnered with LinkMeMobile, a leader in mobile object recognition technology with 8 issued US patents and 27 pending globally. IPPLEX has signed up over 30 international specialty distributors for LookTel in the U.S., U.K. Canada and Australia and will soon expand to other regions after completing language localization tasks.

Other Comments Related to Company's Success Story:
As a direct result of the accessibility features developed for visually impaired and elderly users under the SBIR program, we have made possible face-to-face video conferencing over Smartphones and existing operator infrastructure. These capabilities, when combined with remote patient monitoring, led to the development of iVisit Mx, a complete telemedicine solution poised to increase access and quality of care for patients while substantially reducing the costs of care. The solution allows patients to receive case management and treatment by remotely communicating with physicians, nurses and other caregivers face-to-face over mobile devices and PCs connected to Wi-Fi, 3G+ or other broadband networks. iVisit Mx was awarded first place at the 2009 CTIA E-Tech Awards in the Healthcare category.

Past R&D and/or Sales from this Project:   $1.1M
Estimated Future Annual R&D and/or Sales from this Project:   $20M+