And the Mozen Implosion saga continues. Honestly if you are a fan of either note taker you will come away with some kind of comment from the press release below. It's impossible not to really. But this is the first, minus the earlier official announcement of Jonathan joining FS, time we see the spin on why the Pac Mate is better than a Braille Note from a guy who effectively was the voice for the Humanware note takers during the last 2 years. I am NOT saying that he is good at promoting either unit better than the other. But I am saying that the irony is delicious and I can't wait for the convention discussions on the exhibit hall floors in 07. And honestly speaking as someone who used to be in high pressure sales many many moons ago.. I have to admire the effort that it will take to literlly go in the polar oppisitte direction when speaking about this technology. I wish Mr. Mozen all the luck in the world because this ain't gonna be easy!
Here's the release from Freedom Scientific. Link listed below..
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sales Contact: Charlie Madsen, Inside Sales
Media Contact: Brad Davis
Blind/Low Vision Group
800-444-4443 or 727-803-8000
Trade in HumanWare Notetakers with
Freedom Scientific's Open Plan
Trade in any proprietary HumanWare notetaker and get the features you want today with Freedom Scientific’s PAC Mate
(St. Petersburg, Florida, September 15, 2006) – Freedom Scientific’s Open Plan, announced today, will help blind users of VoiceNote, BrailleNote, mPower, and BrailleNote PK notetakers upgrade to an open platform that uses the familiar Windows interface and runs mainstream applications.
For the remainder of 2006, users in the United States and Canada can trade in one of the aforementioned HumanWare products and save more than 70 percent on a PAC Mate™ Accessible Pocket PC. Models with 20 or 40 cells of refreshable braille will be discounted 60 percent. Purchase prices after trade-in are:
- PAC Mate BX400 and QX400 speech-only units: $700
- PAC Mate BX420 and QX420 20-cell braille units: $1,500
- PAC Mate BX440 and QX440 40-cell braille units: $2,250
The Open Plan is especially attractive to 18-cell BrailleNote Classic users thinking about transplanting their braille cells to an mPower. Transplanting to an mPower leaves you with the same amount of old cells, but trading in the old unit for one of the PAC Mate’s 440 models gets you 40 new cells. That’s 22 extra new cells for the price of a transplant!
If you want to save some cash, instead of upgrading your old 18-cell HumanWare unit, trade it in for a PAC Mate 420 model, and get two extra cells and all the benefits of the open platform for $700 less.
The Open Plan also gives VoiceNote users, who are excluded from the HumanWare Transplant Program, an inexpensive braille upgrade option.
Those taking advantage of the Open Plan will be able to choose from more onboard applications, read from more braille cells, and access mainstream applications and peripherals. Students learn the Windows operating system as they use the PAC Mate, knowledge they will draw from for the rest of their lives.
PAC Mate users can communicate via MSN and AOL instant messaging, synchronize with Microsoft Outlook's e-mail inbox, tasks, and notes, balance their checkbook, and manage spreadsheets. BrailleNote owners are still waiting to get in touch with those features. While they wait, PAC Mate users are working with a host of other features BrailleNote doesn’t have. Features like bar code scanners that identify and describe many common household items, support for all Word documents, Skype Internet telephony, reference materials like encyclopedias and recipe databases, virtual private network access, and support for a broad range of network cards and other peripherals.
“Since I became a PAC Mate user, I've used numerous exciting features that the closed nature of the BrailleNote prevented me from being able to deliver to customers when I managed that product,” said Jonathan Mosen, formerly of HumanWare, now Vice President of Blindness Hardware Product Management at Freedom Scientific’s Blind/Low Vision Group. “My PAC Mate has become an essential tool for me. Not only am I more productive on the job because of features like the full synchronization and VPN support, but it's my accessible remote control for all our appliances that use a remote.”
Mosen also said he likes how the PAC Mate gives him such a vast selection of entertainment options and supports all common streaming media formats.
“A closed platform can't possibly keep up with all of the innovation being unleashed by Microsoft and the many third party developers that write software for Pocket PC devices. I have no doubt that once BrailleNote and VoiceNote users get their hands on a PAC Mate, they'll be amazed at the world of possibilities on offer,” Mosen said. “I can even do high quality audio recordings on it!”
Find out more about the PAC Mate by visiting the Freedom Scientific Web site. Contact Freedom Scientific if you have questions or wish to take advantage of the Open Plan.
This program cannot be combined with any other discounts. The trade-in units must be in good working condition, as determined by Freedom Scientific. Freedom Scientific reserves the right to refuse any trade-in or to change or cancel any aspect of this program at any time at its sole discretion.