Hable One: a story about the development of a visionary product
Both founders of Hable are motivated by helping others. Ayushman Talwar grew up in the Indian city of Bangalore. There, he supported his blind grandfather navigate everyday life. When he became an engineering student he decided to participate in a hackathon. Motivated by his ambition to help his grandfather he tried to develop a braille keyboard. The first prototype didn’t work properly, but he decided not to give up. Years later, when he continued his studies as an Industrial Design student at the University of Eindhoven, he continued on this project.
This time, however, things started to take form. During a competition, he met Freek van Welsenis, a Dutch technical business student. Freek knew what it was like to have a family member with a disability, and was therefore fully committed to Talwar’s mission to make technology more accessible to all. Together they participated in several contests. Also, their product was tested by their target group. From this, they learned a lot, and the prototype was improved. Now, it was no longer just compatible with one smartphone, but with all of them. The company was starting to take shape and with it their mission statement:
“Our mission is to make technology accessible for people with a visual impairment by bringing them the best assistive interfaces and applications.
Hable is all about empowering people and giving them control over their own lives. So how do we do this? We do this by providing the best assistive technology.
Providing the best products always start by understanding the customer and their problem. Note how we say people who are blind or visually impaired. Our customers are always people first, that is how we treat everyone.”
Hable’s mission and goals were clear, and by visiting many different events they already established that there was more than enough demand for their product.
With both founders still studying at university, the company could use an experienced partner in the field of product development. The team started looking for a partner who could help to bring the device to the market. This required expertise in product development and manufacturing of electrical appliances. Eventually, their path crossed with product development company Pezy Group at an event in Eindhoven.
In hindsight, this turned out to be the beginning of a fruitful collaboration. Pezy Group has the right experience in product development and bringing new products to the market. This was a good match for Hable since their goal was that to bring the device to the market as quickly as possible.
Ayushman Talwar: “Pezy group has good knowledge about mechanical engineering and plastics design. With their knowledge, we ensured that the molds of the plastic could be produced quickly and the quality of the plastic is good.”
For the past years, Pezy Group and Hable are making smartphones completely accessible for people who are blind. Now, in the summer of 2021 the final product is finalized and brought to the market. Talwar and van Welsenis are in contact with several organizations for the blind, and they intend to make their product available for blind people worldwide.
Listen to the story of Freek van Welsenis – Founder at Hable.