We’re Ready for Our Close-Up: Beam Hits the Big Screen in Oliver Stone’s SNOWDEN

Oliver Stone’s eagerly anticipated film, Snowden, opens in the U.S. on September 16, and BeamPro® is thrilled to make its box office debut in the movie.

Critics are already hailing the film from the legendary director as one of the year’s best… and perhaps one of Stone’s most prominent works:

Snowden” isn’t just the director’s most exciting work since Nixon (1995) — it’s the most important and galvanizing political drama by an American filmmaker in years.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“As a movie, Snowden computes. It’s sexy, controversial, visually interesting. It’s Oliver Stone’s best film since JFK.” – Allen Salkin, NY Daily News 

“… Possibly the most important film you will see this year. It should certainly be compulsory viewing for anyone with even a passing interest in the basic norms of human rights, freedom of speech and civil liberties.” – Chris Newbould, The National

THE HUMAN TOUCH
While it’s difficult to bring a film that’s essentially about data and technology to life in a compelling, thrilling way, it’s the nuances of the human condition that Stone masterfully illuminates in all of his films – and Snowden in particular – that makes the stories he tells universally relatable:

Snowden is also a remarkably optimistic movie, another characteristic of Oliver Stone at his very best. A bleaker beat might have made the picture more artistically interesting, but Snowden’s biography is ultimately a story about hope and change, and Snowden generously embraces that narrative theme.” – Jared Petty, IGN 

THE BEAM CONNECTION
Prominent personalities from Edward Snowden to Kanye West and President Obama use Beam to connect, communicate and be present in important situations and conversations, all around the world. While video conferencing is part of our daily experience, Beam allows you to hear and see everyone and everything in the room… and for others to interact with you just as if you were physically standing right next to them.

We are honored to be in the room when it comes to helping thought leaders, artists and everyday people show up in ways never before possible.

NO SPOILERS BUT….
While we won’t give you any specifics about Beam’s appearance in Snowden (you’ll have to go see for yourself!), here’s a little hint from Pete Hammond of Deadline Hollywood.

“Snowden is participating not only in its publicity with interviews from Moscow, but he’s in the film as well in a nifty little cameo at the end.”

We’ll take that as a glowing review!

For more about Beam and to see it in action, check out Snowden’s 2014 TED Talk and New York Magazine’s recent piece, “I, Snowbot.”

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Suitable Technologies, the Leader in Robotic Telepresence, Announces Exclusive Fireside Chat with Edward Snowden and Peter Diamandis

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Suitable Technologies (http://www.suitabletech.com), a developer of robotic telepresence devices for remote collaboration today announced an exclusive, interactive  fireside chat with Edward Snowden that will take place at the company’s booth at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), #35829 South Hall LVCC Floor 2 on Thursday, January 7 at11 a.m. PST.  The conversation will be moderated by Dr. Peter H. Diamandis using the Suitable Technologies’ BeamPro™. Diamandis is Founder and Executive Chairman of XPRIZE Foundation, which leads the world in designing and operating large-scale incentive competitions.

Snowden will also be taking questions from the audience via Twitter. Simply tweet a question and tag both @SuitableTech and @PeterDiamandis before Midnight PST on January 6, 2016 for your question to be considered.

A limited number of BeamPros will be available to press for remote attendance. For more information, contact comm@suitabletech.com. For anyone who wishes to watch the interview, but is not at CES, a live Periscope feed will also be available from Suitable Technologies’ @SuitableTech Twitter account.

Beam is the next generation in mobile, personal communications. Suitable Technologies recently launched apps for iOS or Android devices that allow users to connect to and drive a Beam in another location – whether across town or across the globe.

In addition to Thursday’s event, Suitable Technologies will be demonstrating its latest products and services both at their booth (#35829 South Hall, Level 2) as well as the ShowStoppers media event, taking place from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. PST on January 6th at the The Wynn.

About Suitable Technologies™
Suitable Technologies grants shared experiences between friends, students, teams and guests by transporting a person’s presence to any place of interest. The Beam™ SPS (Smart Presence System), which includes products BeamPro and Beam+, is a telepresence solution that combines mobility and video conferencing for an immersive communication experience anywhere conversations take place. Beam enables people to be there, and to interact naturally by seeing and being seen, hearing and being heard, and the freedom to move about, from anywhere in the world. Founded in 2011 by serial entrepreneur, Scott Hassan, Suitable Technologies products are designed and manufactured at its headquarters in Palo Alto, CA. Follow @suitabletech on Twitter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, and elevate your communication at https://www.suitabletech.com.

Telework: The Accommodation that Opens New Doors to People with Disabilities

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Organizations around the world are employing remote workers for services such as customer support, software development, writing, design and media. But there still remains a stigma for people with office jobs who request the option to work from home.

Today’s news of telework features headlines about men utilizing the privilege more than women, questions about telework practices at the USPTO, and tactics on how to convince your boss that it’s a good idea. These articles tend to focus on workers and managers who have choices about exactly where and when they can get to an office. But they overlook a potentially valuable source of labor – people with disabilities – who can use new technologies to communicate, attend meetings and interact within office settings. While these people may find their conditions restrict their physical movement, technologies can connect them to professional settings, freeing them to contribute.

Technology’s Role in Advancing the ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990 to grant people with disabilities “the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in mainstream American life – to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in State and local government programs and services.” This year marks the ADA’s 25th anniversary, an occasion that included an event at The White House in July 2015.

Even as the ADA requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities to work effectively, many people with severe physical limitations cannot enjoy the fulfillment that work provides. There have been many advances, from motorized wheelchairs to speech generating apps that help people move and communicate. What if technology could push those boundaries even further, to open up even more possibilities?

The examples of two remarkable people, Henry Evans and Kavita Krishnaswamy, demonstrate the power of technology to lower barriers, cultivate connections and bring to life the potential of people whose intelligence illuminates what they can do, rather than what they cannot.

Seeing and Hearing Henry as an Equal

Henry Evans of Los Altos, Calif., is a Stanford MBA with experience working at Silicon Valley tech companies until a stroke-like event struck him at forty years old. Henry is now mute, quadriplegic, and is cared for by his family at home. He often explains that, for an important percentage of the disabled population, leaving home and traveling (even to an ADA compliant building) is often unsafe, inconvenient, or impossible. To extend his own personal experiences beyond his home, Henry started a program called Robots4Humanity to test new technologies and raise awareness about their potential to bring new capabilities to the disabled community. In his TEDx talk, which Henry presented using a Beam Smart Presence System from Suitable Technologies, he describes his elation to feel equal with his friends once again:

“The primary reason Smart Presence is so important for disabled people is that, if you can speak, no one has to know you are disabled and they don’t have a chance to treat you differently (even subconsciously). This is even more so the case when a lot of able-bodied people also use Smart Presence devices. These devices, which show only your head, create for the first time a truly level playing field for people with physical disabilities.”Henry Evans

Henry hopes the technologies that enable telework, like telepresence, give employers additional tools to maximize the productivity of a person with a disability – as well as the incentive to find tasks suitable for those individuals. They provide both parties – worker and organization – the opportunity to optimize a person’s net contribution. In Henry’s view, this can only encourage employers to proactively target people with disabilities for employment. And he’s not alone in his belief, gained through experience, that these technologies can make a life-changing – and work-enabling – impact.

A Catalyst for Kavita’s Doctoral Thesis

Kavita Krishnaswamy, who lives with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), has never walked or crawled. Though she relies on 24/7 care in her Maryland home, Kavita is a Computer Science doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and her research goals include increasing independence for people with disabilities using machine learning, artificial intelligence, brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), telepresence, speech recognition, and other robotic technologies to improve quality of life.

Kavita requires physical assistance from her mother, Pushpa Krishnaswamy, and other caregivers. She was able to physically go to campus in her undergraduate years, with her mother in attendance for each class, but at home her mother cares for the whole family and struggles to both fund and find reliable caregivers who can work around the clock. Kavita has been unable to leave her home in recent days, leaving her only with a laptop computer as means to participate in her world.

Despite these difficult circumstances, and with her mother’s help and dedication, Kavita has managed to work at IBM, Silver Hill Technology, Knexus Research, and the Quality of Life Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. The key accommodations that helped her to effectively fulfill her responsibilities were the ability to telecommute, have a flexible schedule, and utilize highly collaborative tools such as video calling, distributed revision control systems, chat messengers, and email.

Recently, Kavita has been using Beam Smart Presence on the UMBC campus to attend class and defend her thesis. The Beam provides her the face-to-face interaction and ambulation needed to attend events talks, seminars, and conferences in cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, and Barcelona. (She has even attended museum exhibits.) The telepresence capability empowers her to contribute her skills and experience to a variety of organizations:

“The Beam gives me independence to be visible in the community to explore and expand technological boundaries from my home; to exchange ideas with high-achieving entrepreneurs, innovative researchers, and industry leaders to make progress in my research. The Beam bridges the physical gaps between my home and any other location in the world in an immersive real-time experience to meet, learn, and network with professionals all over the world. I can best contribute to the human capacity to achieve the highest potential in the field of computing with assistive technologies society to develop robotic technologies to make life better and inclusive for all. Together, we can change the world with increased accessibility.”Kavita Krishnaswamy

A Life-Changing Impact

By deploying collaborative technology and telepresence, Henry and Kavita are realizing opportunities to act upon their passions. Both bestow the hope that everyone with a disability can contribute their knowledge and skills to more employers.

As Internet-based technologies continue to redefine where work happens, Kavita and Henry will continue to encourage people who live with disability to use technology for expanding their interactions with the world, so that new doors may open to them, and so they can achieve career advancement with meaningful employment and independence.

Contributors:
Henry Evans (Robots4Humanity)
Kavita Krishnaswamy (UMBC Computer Science)
Erin Rapacki (Director of Marketing, Suitable Technologies, Inc.)

President Obama greets Alice Wong via Beam during the ADA’s 25th Anniversary

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President Barack Obama greets Alice Wong, Disability Visibility Project Founder and Project Coordinator via BeamPro during the Americans with Disabilities Act 25th Anniversary reception in the Blue Room of the White House, July 20, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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From Storify: #ADA25 at the @WhiteHouse
“On July 20, 2015, President Obama spoke in the East Room of the White House about the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Many members of the disability community attended the event including Alice Wong, Founder and Project Coordinator of the Disability Visibility Project. Alice attended the event remotely using BeamPro, a telepresence robot that allows a person to stream live with a webcam and move around simply by clicking the arrows on a laptop’s keyboard. Apparently, Alice was the first person to use this type of device in the White House.” – Alice Wong

VIDEO: President Obama Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the ADA

Humans of SXSW 2015

Humans of SXSW 2015

The Beam Team decided to check out SXSW in true form this year: we rolled from bar to bar, fist-bumped many wonderful people, and kept up with all of the other creatures on 6th St.

First, we were registered as a new student at Greendale Community College.

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However, the white alien mustache men were difficult to understand, so we decided to seek out a career as a fire fighter.

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Some folks perceived the Beam as a good omen.

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Next, we met somebody who re-interpreted what it meant to “light your face.”

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Wrong holiday?

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The tech folks were working into the night.

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To conclude our evening’s adventures; we invented new dance moves with the locals.

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Our visit to SXSW ended in the best of ways: two people who are bedridden with disabilities connected to Beam in order to give their SXSW talk “People with Disabilities can ‘Be There’ Too”

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Thank you SXSW!

SXSW Session: With Beam, People with Disabilities Can “Be There” Too

You voted and we made the cut. On March 16th, we’ll be presenting at SXSW and we’d love for you to join us.

Join Erin Rapacki (of Suitable Technologies), Henry Evans and Kavita Krishnaswamy as they answer the question “How can the digital world help people with disabilities lead more fulfilling lives?” Henry and Kavita will beam in from their respective homes in California and Maryland to present their case for assistive technologies. Read on to find out more.

Who is Henry Evans?
Henry Evans, a home-bound and mute quadriplegic, uses the company’s BeamPro to “walk again.” Henry is a huge proponent of #assistivetechnologies and was recently featured on CBS Sunday Morning News using the #BeamPro to tour museums around the US. Watch it here.

Who is Kavita Krishnaswamy?
Kavita uses BeamPro to reduce the physical limits of her spinal muscular atrophy. Kavita has been beaming into conferences and events – most recently having used the technology to beam in at Mobile World Congress and the CES Lifelong Tech Summit. Watch here as she defends her thesis at the University of Maryland via Beam.


What are the details?

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Session: People with Disabilities Can “Be There” Too
Monday, March 16
11:00AM – 12:00PM
Austin Convention Center
Room 12AB

Meet the Beam Team at CES 2015!

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Suitable Technologies at CES 2015!
(Booth #30869, LVCC South Hall 2nd Floor)

Suitable Technologies develops BeamPro and Beam+: Smart Presence technology products that combine mobility and video conferencing to enable users to move about, speak, see and interact with friends and family – regardless of their location. Our mission is to give people of the world broader access to each other through face-to-face interaction.

to Kickoff CES!
Will.I.Am beamed in for 3DSystems‘ press event.

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Beam+, first public glimpse at CES 2015!
Beam+ is a Smart Presence System ideal for those who are away from home or live far away from their friends and family. Simply set up Beam+ at home, or in your desired location and beam in from anywhere to instantly see, hear and connect with those you care about. You can find more information about the technology of Beam+ HERE.

Features Include//
– Two 640×480 HDR cameras (with 30 frames-per-second video)
– 4-microphone array that cancels echo and reduces background noise
– 10” LCD screen, and a high-quality audio that allows you to see and be seen, hear and be heard, from anywhere
– Beam+ is priced at $1995, we are taking orders suitabletech.com/store
– Battery life: 2 hours of active use

We are taking orders for Beam+ at suitabletech.com/store.

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The Remote Workforce Booth
Booth #30869 LVCC South Halls 3-4, Upper Level
– At the only booth run completely by machines, don’t miss the debut of one of the biggest products at the show: the “MEGA Beam!” MEGA Beam is an 18-foot tall working replica of the company’s Beam+ product.
– Suitable Tech will also host tours for visitors allowing them to beam into multiple museums including The Detroit Institute of Arts (Diego Rivera’s painting “Detroit Industry), The Computer History Museum (see Google’s self driving car) and The Seattle Art Museum.

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Featured session “Lifelong Tech Panel”
January 6 at 9:00 a.m. PT @ Bellini 2106 in The Venetian
Join us as Kavita Krishnaswamy beams in on stage for the opening session of the Lifelong Tech Summit. The panel will discuss assistive technologies such as Beams and robots. Kavita has spinal muscular atrophy and has been beaming into conferences and events – most recently having used the technology to beam in to present her thesis at University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

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Media Contacts:
– Mindy Hull, Mercury Global Partners, mindy@mercuryglobalpartners.com, +1 415 889 9977
– Kayla Egbert, Mercury Global Partners, kayla@mercuryglobalpartners.com, +1 407 529 6937
– Amanda Taggart Hughes, Mercury Global Partners, amanda@mercuryglobalpartners.com, +1 310 980 9587