Derek Judge, previously sales manager for a company specialising in speech recognition software, was often out on the road telling customers how speech recognition could help disabled people. When he received a call from Lance Rive who had been left tetraplegic after a car accident 12 years ago, Judge decided to help.
Rive wanted to know if there was a microphone that could work for both the computer and the telephone, with a system that would allow him to switch between the two without having to press a button.
Judge discovered that Rive’s whole house was wired and a central processing unit was supposed to be able to send signals to open and close the sliding doors and to turn lights and heaters on and off, but no one had ever got it to work. Judge decided that he would attempt to wake the house up, and Project Lancelot was launched.
Editor’s note: Computerworld was saddened to learn that Lance Rive died suddenly late last month. We extend our deepest condolences to Lance’s wife Faye, and his family.