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Making a difference!

Technological advances can be applied to every aspect of our lives. Yes, I drink the apple juice meaning that Apple has rolled out some truly life changing technology and I expect more of the same even with Steve gone.

His example of innovation will continue to inspire for many years to come just like Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek.

Fundamentally speaking, both individuals were driven by the desire to make a difference and that they have. Both were visionaries and both advanced the understanding of technology in life to advance ideals and principles. The vision of these two represented an amalgam of noble causes and lifestyle improvement. I am astounded at the possibility that Roddenberry put forth regarding the future and the reality that Job's has produced! Fascinating!

We, too, have started a new company with the intent to make a difference! It is our desire to exploit the growing power of the computer and the emerging technologies that represent the human to computer interface (HTCI). 

Our company name is Folded Cortex and we have just started testing eye tracking technology in a real-world scenario. Our objective is to assist students in the K-12 grade levels who suffer from gross and fine motor skills deficiencies or communications disorders.

A life-changing event

A student that is unable to use a mouse or keyboard is at a distinct disadvantage in today's technology driven classroom. Also, a student that can't communicate is in the same situation. They can sit in the classroom, but are unable to participate. This can be frustrating and disappointing particularly when the student possesses all of the cognitive capability, but is unable to use the tools that most take for granted. They are screaming to themselves that they know the answer, but are the only one that can hear!

Now imagine, with what we are doing at Folded Cortex, the student is provided the tools that will enable them to use the computer with their eyes or EEG. They will be able to raise their hand and answer the questions just like everyone else in the classroom. The first time this happens, will be a life changing event for them. It will make a difference for them, their family, classmates, school and society. The implications are huge.

Making a difference

At Folded Cortex, we did not invent the technology, we are just finding a different way to use the technology. We are looking forward to moving beyond the testing and development stage and into the lives of others. I can only imagine how that fourth grader is going to feel that first time they are able to use this technology in a live classroom. Uh Huh! That is what I am talking about. It was the imagination of Roddenberry and Jobs that drove them and it is their legacy that is driving us in our imagination of the possibilities today with technology and the classroom accessible to all. Today we can only imagine what is going on in the mind of a young learner.... Tomorrow, they will be able to tell us!

Dan Fisher

Dan Fisher is president and CEO of The Copper River Group, a consulting firm headquartered in Fargo, N. D., that focuses on technology and payment systems research and consulting for community financial institutions. For nearly 30 years, Fisher has worked in the financial industry using technology to improve the bottom line. He was CIO of Community First Bankshares (now part of Bank of the West), has served as a director of the Federal Reserve Board of Minneapolis, the chairman of the American Bankers Association Payment Systems Committee, and was a member of the Independent Community Bankers of America Payments Committee. Fisher has written numerous articles on banking technology and the payments system. He has authored or co-authored six books and recently published a book titled, "Capturing Your Customer! The New Technology of Remote Deposit." You can contact Fisher at [email protected] or at 701-293-6222.
P.S. To understand Dan's nickname, check out "About the Wombat" on his website.       

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