[access-uk] Re: Fw: [vicsireland] Digit-Eyes Audio Labeling System Advances Independence For Visually Impaired

Tris.
An excellent message which in my humble view accurately removes the normal
drumb rhetoric from the thread and accurately presents the truth!
Briliant!

-----Original Message-----
From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Tristram Llewellyn
Sent: 24 June 2010 11:49
To: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [access-uk] Re: Fw: [vicsireland] Digit-Eyes Audio Labeling System
Advances Independence For Visually Impaired

I cannot comment on the product named in the subject line but wished to
respond to the issues of price and development.  The rest of this will have
me down as some kid of industry apologist but there you go.

The context in which iPhone applications are being developed is very
different from that in which Windows screen readers were/are being produced
like JAWS never mind across other product sectors AT related products.
People may have their issues with JAWS/FS or any other facet of access
technology but one must not confuse what may be happening and why with
respect specifically the iPHone and its apps.

When comparing screen readers like JAWS or System Access with iPhone apps
one should bear in mind the following:
1       This software deals with an entire operating system that at least
initially and is still in some cases difficult to make accessible because it
was never designed to be.
2       JAWS and other screen readers on Windows deal with a sometimes
uncertain and very diverse application landscape with differing standards
and compliances across applications that are used.
3       There is far greater complexity in the desktop environment than a
smartphone.
4       Finally most AT companies I can think of sell in volumes of hundreds
of thousands at their very best and sometimes for hardware items in the tens
of thousands worldwide.  Apple for its hardware deals in the millions of
units.  The same is true of Microsoft and many of the larger software
houses.

Selling software into the iPhone market is a completely different
proposition:
1       Apple have already written in the access technology.
2       They fully control the platform end to end and provide SDK for it
and therefore have been able to establish the rules by which applications
that go on it play by.

In just those two points a lot has been built upon that maybe did not work
out.  Had it not been for the work done for Symbian it is doubtful that an
iPhone could have ever been made or thought of at all.

On the wider point about prices is that since Apple control the platform and
the standards it has the effect of making the development process far more
predictable and therefore its cost can be managed and assessed in a way that
means a product could cost less to develop.  Development cycles are measured
in a short number of months usually for all but the most ambitious apps.
Apple further incentivise this by taking care of all the costly
distribution, accounting and give the developer a certain 70 percent cut in
the sale which they can more or less guarantee from sales.  Effectively by
following down the app store route developers have practically outsourced
everything except writing code and product development tasks. 

As for artificially high prices in AT industry as a whole, I wouldn't buy it
because somebody new or existing suppliers would do everything to try and
undercut to gain sales and expand their business.   For the most part in the
past this has not happened, occasionally there are smaller revolutions
though in technology.  However, the idea or even the sentiment that everyone
in the AT industry is going to be up against the wall when the revolution
comes I think it is misguided.  What will happen is things will gradually
change where it is possible through the technology.  The economics of the
things are generally much harder and longer term projects.

Regards.

Tristram Llewellyn
Sight and Sound Technology
Technical Support
www.sightandsound.co.uk

Mail:
Tristram: tristram.llewellyn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Technical: Support@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
General - info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Phone:
Support line: 0845 634 7979

Sight and Sound Technology Limited is a company registered in England and
Wales, with company number 1408275.  

Sight and Sound Technology
Welton House North Wing
Summerhouse Road
Moulton Park
Northampton
NN3 6WD 
            
VAT Number - GB 860 2121 66.

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