Stage 8: Launch Product Innovation

Point Smart Software example

Point Smart Software example

Background — Prior Stages

Edmund LoPresti was a student working for the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Wheeled Mobility when he came to the RERC on Technology Transfer (T2RERC) for assistance in commercializing his software invention. The software was designed based upon consumer needs to enable individuals who had difficulty controlling a mouse to more easily navigate their computer’s functionality. It offered hand stabilization, button gravity, and cursor wrapping features, among other options. 

Having completed work on the first three stages of activity, Mr. LoPresti was ready to move into Stage 4 activities such that his invention could be propelled to the innovation state where production could occur. Discussions with the Technology Transfer Office at the University at Pittsburgh, where the RERC on wheeled mobility was based resulted in an agreement for the T2RERC to act as a transfer agent for Mr. LoPresti’s invention (Tip 4.2). The T2RERC identified a manufacturer (Step 4.6), Infogrip, who saw promise in the software and agreed to further development and commercialization. An outside software developer was hired (Step 4.6) to redesign the program’s interface, with the T2RERC and Infogrip splitting the costs (Step 4.10). The redesigned product was tested (Stage 5, 6), while Infogrip prepared for production activities (Stage 7).

Step 8.1

Initiate Production and Launch Device/Service: Following the redesign, a few relatively minor functional flaws were discovered in the final product. However, Infogrip elected to introduce the product at that time (2005) to satisfy customer demand. In doing so they would also gain additional feedback that could be integrated into a second generation product.

Step 8.2

Monitor Performance: Infogrip tracked consumer queries, complaints, and comments related to Point Smart. Additionally, the T2RERC conducted an efficacy study on Pointsmart to gather consumer feedback. User trials were held onsite with Pointsmart and a competing product- Microsoft’s standard accessibility features. Consumers were also asked to take Pointsmart home for a longer term (4 month) evaluation.

Step 8.3

Provide Device/Service Support: Infogrip regularly responded to consumer inquiries for assistance from study participants as well as general consumers. Service and support inquiries were tracked to ensure that bugs would be worked out prior to development of the second generation product.

Step 8.4

Troubleshoot and Correct Problems: The second generation product was released in 2008 with many technical improvements.

Results

Pointsmart was successfully sold through multiple vendors for many years. However, as technology has evolved, the product has been discontinued. Product information is still available on EnableMart’s website.