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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Interview with Martin Bodley, Revolabs: Innovators in E-Learning Series

Welcome to an interview with Martin Bodley, founder of Revolabs, a provider of innovative wireless products for collaboration, many of which can be used in assistive technology for special-needs users. Prior to Revolabs, Martin was CEO and founder of Maestro Inc., a successful OEM development and supplier to major brands such as Motorola and Body Glove. At GNNetcom, Mr. Martin Bodley was responsible for instituting and growing a $70 million wireless product line. Martin is widely recognized as an innovator and expert in wireless technologies, having authored papers and been been issued many patents throughout his career. Assistive technology has been central to Martin's life. As an engineer, Martin has been developing various products such as wireless assistive technology for 15 years.

We were most impressed with Martin Bodley and Revolabs for its pro-active, effective, and compassionate stance toward special-needs users and assistive technology. Social responsibility should be a cornerstone of all e-learning technologies and philosophies. Developing assistive technologies and providing them in an affordable way is, in this blogger's mind, heroic and worthy of emulation. It is encouraging to see leadership in assistive technologies, and a commitment to pushing forward and providing innovative solutions, despite uncertainty.

1. What is Revolabs? What does it do? How does it work? Why do you believe in it?
Revolabs is a developer of innovative wireless products for collaboration. Revolabs products are designed to improve the way that professionals and educators communicate by improving the audio by putting microphones where people need them so that you can hear every word. I believe in the company because good communication is critical to all facets of life, especially as technology enables us to expand our reach globally.

2. What is the philosophy of Revolabs?
The philosophy of Revolabs is to solve communication problems with innovative technology. The product philosophy is to utilize wireless technology and bring the microphone system to where people are speaking, instead of having people adapt to speak near the microphone.

3. Who benefits from Revolabs? How? Why?
Anyone collaborating with another person and having trouble hearing the other person, or being heard by the other person, could benefit from a Revolabs Wireless Microphone System. In the case of Telemate, he has trouble hearing people who are in the room and our microphones have helped him. However, this is not our typical application. Typically, our Wireless Microphones are used on conference calls or video conferences in a business setting, or in a classroom for Distance Education. The anticipated economy and efficiency of conference calls/distance education is erased when the participants can’t understand what’s being said, especially as one walks to the board to present.

4. What differentiates Revolabs's products from other products for networks or labs? What are some innovative uses?

Revolabs Wireless Microphone Systems have many differentiators.

1. Wireless: The entire family of Revolabs Wireless Microphones are designed to provide natural mobility and meeting dynamics.

2. Environmentally-friendly: The batteries in the Revolabs Microphones are rechargeable, so they do not need to be replaced after each use.

3. Easy-to-Use: The Revolabs Microphones all have Mute buttons and do not require specific software to operate.

4. Secure: Privacy is a major consideration today and the Revolabs Microphones use a 128-bit encryption scheme to eliminate the risk of eavesdropping.
Telemate’s use of the Revolabs Wireless Microphone System is a very innovative one. Revolabs has several medical simulation laboratories who record teaching sessions in the labs. Teachers use the Revolabs USB Wireless Microphone for podcasting and distance learning. Additionally, medical personnel use the same microphone for dictation into speech recognition software programs. Revolabs Wireless Microphones are used from the corporate board room to the home PC with someone using a Skype phone.

5. How does Revolabs encourage students and instructors to interact? Does Revolab help facilitate inclusion and learning for multiple learning preferences, variations of cognitive ability, and physical abilities?
By allowing students and teachers to hear each other more clearly, Revolabs assists students and teachers in local and long-distance discussions. Students with hearing disabilities, like Telemate, can participate fully in the classroom and the non-classroom learning situations. The Revolabs Wireless Microphones remove the artificial “speak into the microphone embedded in the table” meeting dynamic and allows the students and teachers to interact more naturally.

6. Where and how does your vision encourage creativity, innovation, and leadership?
The vision of Revolabs is to remove technological obstacles to clear and direct communication, even if all of the participants are not in the same room. Allowing a natural mobility and providing great audio enables meeting participants to be more creative and collaborate more effectively.

7. Here's an extension of the previous question -- How can Revolabs help rebuild our world economies and communities?
Revolabs helps people communicate more clearly. This is a huge benefit in a global economy. The future also depends on becoming more environmentally concerned. Revolabs Microphones work well with teleconferencing and video-conferencing, both of which reduce the need for people to travel, ultimately reducing transportation emissions. This will help build a stronger world.

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