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  • Windows
  • C++

Problem

Softeq is a company on the technology forefront of the electronics and computer industry. Softeq’s proprietary product — the DURATEQ — is a rugged handheld based on the iPAQ hx2000 platform. Designed specifically for high-use situations, it withstands a four foot drop to concrete thanks to its rugged docking connector and sealed case. But what matters even more is what’s packed inside.

Back in 2006, Softeq took up the challenging task of delivering a sustainable assistive technology version of the DURATEQ handheld. It extends accessibility to exhibits and areas at public sports, educational, and leisure venues to individuals who are visually and/or hearing impaired. An immersive real-time experience is attained via instantly synchronized audio and video content.

Solution

The solution consists of a ruggedized handheld device combined with advanced software, and optional add-on modules such as GPS. Infrastructure components consist of infrared emitters, FM transmitters, and A/V show controllers.

With the HP iPAQ and Windows Mobile platform inside, and Softeq's proprietary hardware and Captioning Studio and ALICE (Assistive LIstening and Captioning Engine) software, the Durateq supports content for assistive listening, handheld captioning, descriptive narration, multiple foreign language translations, and more.

Download the DURATEQ Datasheet here.

Record Delivery for a World's Most Famous Entertainment Destination

The customer, an American diversified multinational mass media corporation, was among the pioneers who invested into boosting the accessibility of its numerous theme parks and engaged HP and Softeq for the project.

Softeq designed, developed, and delivered 5,000 custom headsets, a multi-unit battery charger, and a unique rechargeable battery, all with custom firmware and software, from concept to onsite launch in only six months — and a whole week before the deadline.

The customer said it was its most successful hardware project ever delivered for the company.

Custom Branding at the World of Coca-Cola

Softeq integrated the DURATEQ assistive solution at the World of Coca-Cola museum, where it is used for closed captioning, descriptive narration, assistive listening, and language translation. The DURATEQ provides custom color options. Following the Client’s branding policy, the handhelds were delivered in “Coca-Cola Red”.

Cooperation with the National Parks Service

The DURATEQ has been providing the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) a way to serve visitors of all abilities and improve their experience when visiting a site since 2010.

The DURATEQ was successfully installed in 30+ locations, incluring the White House Visitor Center and the following National Park sites:

  • Mount Vernon — the #1 historical attraction in the USA
  • Flight 93 National Memorial
  • Mount Rushmore National Monument
  • Death Valley National Park
  • New River Gorge National River
  • Keweenaw National Historical Park
  • Fort Union National Monument
  • Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (King Gillette Ranch)
  • James A. Garfield National Historic Site
  • Vicksburg National Military Park
  • Historic Jamestowne
  • Fort Davis Historical Site
  • Pinnacles National Park
  • Mesa Verde National Park
  • Mammoth Cave National Park
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  • War in the Pacific National Historical Park
  • Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site
  • Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
  • Monocacy National Battlefield
  • Gettysburg National Military Park
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Pecos National Historic Park
  • Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve
Seasoned Team

Alongside with a broad expertise in custom development of commercial mobile apps, the Softeq’s team includes selective experts in electrical engineering and hardware design. These seasoned team brought the DURATEQ project into reality.

The project invoked best-of-breed specialists with an average industry experience exceeding 23 years:

  • Business Development / Marketing Manager
  • Account Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Senior Systems Engineer
  • Hardware Engineer
  • Documentation Lead
  • Technical Support Engineer
  • Technical Support Engineer
  • Technical Support Engineer

Results

The DURATEQ helps 20+ US major landmarks, including Florida's largest theme park, The Coca-Cola Museum, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, The Peabody Essex Museum, and Mount Vernon, the #1 historical attraction in the United States. All of these sites care for their guests with disabilities or special needs, and are determined to help them enjoy the delights of sightseeing, sports, and entertainment.

Our clients pinpoint numerous technical and business benefits, including:

  • Deployment of a unified, scalable platform that combines multiple assistive technology solutions into a single service;
  • Cost effective deployment and maintenance of an assistive technology solution;
  • Providing better overall client satisfaction to a greater majority of guests through a convenient, easy-to-use device.
Competitive Advantages

The automated “immersive” experience is the major competitive advantage that distinguishes the DURATEQ from competitors. It isn't necessary to push a button or enter codes — the guest needs to simply walk around and experience the attraction.

Other differentiators are:

  • Form Factor: the DURATEQ is a durable, rugged, yet lightweight and thin handheld device that rests conveniently in the palm of a hand.
  • User-friendliness: the DURATEQ is the most technically advanced, yet easy to deploy, use, and maintain assistive solution on the market today.
  • Multi-service support: the DURATEQ supports all services within a single device.

The DURATEQ, in its 8th year, remains a continuous market leader.

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