Our first major assistive technology product, the Eureka A4, established a new standard for assistive tools for vision-impaired people. Its sleek design, its features and user-friendliness were unique compared to other devices available at that time.
The device still remains in wide use now, nearly twenty years after it was conceived, probably setting a record for the World's longest-serving personal computer. The Eureka A4 was launched in the times of the first IBM PCs.
It was the first personal computer equipped with (then revolutionary) low power floppy disk drive, which was made by Citizen Watch company.
The device had a Braille keyboard, voice output, in-built modem, a rich portfolio of wordprocessing, educational and personal organizer functions, ROM-based operating system, and even a sophisticated music composer.
Stevie Wonder with his Eureka
The Eureka A4 attracted a number of international awards, such as the Rolls-Royce Qantas Award for Engineering Excellence, Winston Gordon Award for Technological Achievement in the Field of Blindness, and many others.
The large family of Eureka users included school children, professionals as well as pensioners, and also many famous people (such as Stevie Wonder who is pictured here working with his Eureka).
The Eureka A4 has been superseded by a much smaller and more powerful Aria, but its spirit of achievement lives on, for its users and creators alike.
For its users, this new class of product meant a totally new experience of independence. Many young people relied on the Eureka to assist them from their early school days all the way to the university. Many obstacles were overcome, many doors were opened, thanks to the Eureka.
For its creators, the Eureka also became a symbol of success, an example of the strength of an idea, and the creative force which exists in all of us, and which can flourish and bear fruits, given the right opportunity and environment.
It is also an example of the most noble application of technology: assistance to a fellow human being.
And, above all, the Eureka remains an enduring symbol of persistence and passion.