The desire to be able to see others while talking to them on the phone has been around as long as the phone itself. The first attempts at videoconferencing appeared to be something only the most wealthy could access. In 1961, Picturephone by AT&T was launched It cost $160/month, and $6/minute per call, and sent black and white pictures back and forth every 2 seconds.
In 2005, video communication had become more popular and affordable. Most people had dial-up internet at minimum, and MSN Messenger and other video conferencing tools were becoming more popular. However, reliability was far from guaranteed. It was around the same time that TinyEYE was established, integrating the video technology available at the time with additional programming and support, and adding in the capability for a third-party to monitor a video stream and adjust the settings to ensure reliability.
All over North America there are schools where students are not receiving the speech and occupational therapy services they need. The majority of these cases are simply because the school faces recruitment shortages and has been trying to hire a speech pathologist or occupational therapist for years. This is often simply a question of social or geographic concerns.
In the past 9 years since TinyEYE software began development, technology has grown exponentially. People are connected in ways that they never were before. One of those ways is that therapists from everywhere are able to log in and provide therapy to students all over the world. Students who were struggling to communicate and became hopeless and withdrawn are laughing and speaking in ways that they never before could. 9 years later, these schools faced the same recruitment challenges, but they found TinyEYE, and began working with us to provide SLP and OT services and change their student’s lives.
There have been countless changes, upgrades, and updates to the TinyEYE program and we are happy to say that our therapists and students are able to connect in more ways than ever before. In fact, remote therapists are no longer even restricted to meet
students at the desk their computer sits on. Through partnership with Double Robotics, TinyEYE has brought our therapists out of the therapy room, and into the classroom. The gym. The lunch room. Our therapists are now able to travel remotely through the halls of the schools and monitor each child in their natural environment.
The impact of this innovation is staggering. Not only are children attending therapy sessions and able to take their lessons home with them, therapists can now see whether children are using the lessons they have learned when talking to their friends, their teachers, or even while giving presentations. The therapist can work with the child’s teacher to apply lessons throughout the day and then take all of that back to the next therapy session where they can use real-life examples with each child.
Where our desire to communicate with one another remains the same, technology continues to break boundaries in the way we communicate, allowing us to grow. Grow smiles, mend spirits, and engage children in their lives.