Torsten Brand, one of the most influencial men in the development of accessible cellular phone software, has died of complications from an operation.. He was 47. Torsten attended Universität Hannover in Germany from 1984-1991. In 2002, he partnered with Marcus Groeber and founded Brand & Groeber Communications, which began development of screen reading technology for Nokia phones. In 2004, the startup was purchased by Scansoft, which later became Nuance.
He served as the Product Manager for Mobile Applications at Nuance Communications Inc. until his untimely passing. He had most recently led the release of Talks version 5, supporting 5th edition Symbian-based cell phones including touchscreen models. He leaves behind 4 children. A post on the Handytech North America Twitter sums up the feelings of many in saying, "You've done so much for the blind community. We will all miss you." After the jump, a collection of some of Torsten's interviews from around the net. If you have a link or a memory to share, please leave it in the comments.
MOBILE PHONE FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED discussing the first version of Talks for the Nokia 9210 Communicator - BBC Radio 4 In Touch, November 19, 2002
Acquisition by Nuance in September, 2004
To Chronicle a Symbian Screen Reader - Mobile Space, April 4, 2008
Torsten on Talks 4 - Serotalk Podcast, March 6, 2009
interview at ATIA 2010 on Talks for touchscreen devices - Blind Bargains, January 28, 2010
Extended Interview on Talks 5 - BlindMind.net, March 17, 2010
Torsten will be sorely missed by all who knew him. His accomplishments live on, however. Thank you, Torsten.
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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.