Revised December 29, 2017
For those of you who don't know us, we are the owners of Marblesoft, a developer of special needs software since 1983. When our friends at Cadan Assistive Technologies called to tell us about an opportunity to purchase Lasered Pics, we immediately recognized how nicely it would complement our software products for Mac, Windows and iPad. In addition to our Marblesoft branded line, we have developed, purchased and/or are the publishers of the Simtech, SoftTouch, and Click-to-Read brands.
Marblesoft has always offered a few choice third-party hardware products that work best with our software, like switches and switch interfaces. Our software development has shifted from desktop applications for Mac and Windows to more iPad apps. Lasered Pics keyguards fit nicely into that and round us out as an assistive technology company.
We had met the founder and previous owner of Lasered Pics when we both exhibited at trade shows, but we didn't really know him. He was having difficulty keeping up with the growing business, and had decided to retire. Jim Rogers from Cadan reintroduced us, and we purchased Lasered Pics on Sept. 19, 2016. We inherited a steep learning curve. Lasered Pics keyguards are truly custom made to order, and we needed to quickly get up to speed on several dozen AAC apps and many dozens of iPad cases!
Now we have a new name that better describes what we do, and a new web domain that's easier to remember. We are now Keyguard Assistive Technology, and our new address is www.keyguardAT.com. But the product remains the same, and is what makes us different from all the other keyguard manufacturers.
Some AAC publishers manufacture keyguards to use with their apps. There are virtually no choices available to the end user. You use the app in the configuration the publisher chose for you to use. There are a few other companies who offer a little more flexibility, but only Keyguard AT creates keyguards that fit the case you choose with all the app settings you choose. Just look at all the ways you can modify TouchChat to your liking!
By keeping the design files for the app separate from the design files for the iPad case, we have a versatile and powerful way to match any requirements of the end user. We simply take the design for the app with the specified settings and drop it onto the design for the case, resulting in a keyguard that perfectly matches the end user's needs.
In the pages of this blog we'll share some of what we've learned about the technical aspects of keyguards for AAC, some of the options you find in the apps to provide the best experience for your end users, and some of the pros and cons of app settings, cases, and attachment methods. The first post, TouchChat and Custom Keyguards, was done in December, 2016.
We've learned so much already and received such valuable feedback from our customers and end users. It's such a privilege to work with all the AAC professionals we meet every day.
Please stop by our booth at Closing the Gap or the ATIA conference and introduce yourself. We love hearing the stories about how you use custom keyguards with the people you serve.
Mark and Vicki Larson