A Word from the New Owners
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 huge backlog of orders and a steep learning curve. Lasered Pics keyguards are truly custom made to order, and we needed to quickly get up to speed on a couple dozen AAC apps and several dozen iPad cases!
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 Lasered PIcs 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.
We've been working day and night to get caught up on all the orders. We're 75% through the backlog and expect to be completely on schedule by the first of the year. Our turnaround time on orders has been cut in half, with more improvement every day.
Editor's note: We did, indeed, get caught up by January 1, 2017! We are now running on schedule with the best turnaround time in the business. Orders are processed as they are received, with delays only occurring when we're off at a trade show or there's missing or incorrect information on the order. Routine orders are shipped within a week, with many being shipped the day after they are received! Thank you all for your patience while we hit our stride. We'll reward it with the best possible service on your new orders.
In the coming weeks 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, is already done.
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