Barnsley firm launches sensory pod

27 September 2012

 An innovative Barnsley technology company is targeting schools, colleges and visitor attractions across the UK with a new product for people with special needs.

Osborne Technologies Ltd has designed, developed and refined the SensoryPod over the last two years and is now being supported by business support programme, Enterprising Barnsley, to market the innovation nationally.

The SensoryPod is a self-contained multi-sensory facility which creates a soothing and stimulating environment with ambient lighting, video, surround-sound, internet access and simple touch controls. What makes it unique is that the whole experience is delivered within an accessible and compact stand-alone room which can be located either indoors or outside.

Osborne Technologies’ Kevin Wheatley, who developed the original concept of SensoryPod, said: “The idea of the SensoryPod is that we can customise it to meet each customer’s requirements and our team of engineers can install it anywhere – inside or out - even move it if necessary. It is great way to create a completely inclusive experience with lots of specialist features, where space is at a premium.”

The first SensoryPod was installed at Ickburgh Special School in Hackney this summer and the second is currently being installed at Bury College in Greater Manchester. A prototype of the pod is in place at Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster.

The SensoryPod, which costs between £40,000 and £70,000, is the latest product to be launched by the expanding technology company, based on the Fall Bank Industrial Estate at Dodworth. Osborne Technologies sells a wide range of customised IT and audio visual solutions to education and business sector clients and has seen its turnover double every year for the last three years. It currently stands at £1.8 million and looks set to double again over the next two years.

The firm has recruited six new staff this month (September). A new marketing executive, Lauren Titley, has been employed primarily to market the SensoryPod to schools, colleges and family-orientated visitor attractions. And, five new jobs have been created to strengthen the company’s technical support and installation engineering teams.

Enterprising Barnsley is helping Osborne Technologies to effectively manage its on-going expansion and develop effective marketing strategies for their new innovation.

Enterprising Barnsley’s John Heckingbottom said: “Osborne Technologies has brought another exciting product to market in the SensoryPod and we are delighted to support them at this time.

“The company is a local success story. Its roots stretch back to the 1990s when founder Tom Osborne started refurbishing computers in his garage. It now produces a wide range of IT and audio visual products and we’ve been supporting the firm’s growth since 2010. In that short time Osborne Technologies has seen its turnover grow by 70 per cent and its workforce increase by 17 people. Their latest six recruits bring the total workforce to 35.”

Osborne Technologies provides products such as CCTV, plasma and LCD screens, projectors, interactive whiteboards, touch-screen technology and an array of computers to suit different needs. The company’s ‘EntrySign’ touch-screen signing-in system, launched in 2010, has been installed in over 600 UK schools.

The Enterprising Barnsley programme is supported financially by the European Union. The project has attracted £2,259,511 investment into Barnsley from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

Attached picture shows, Kevin Wheatley and Lauren Titley inside Osborne Technologies’s SensoryPod

For any further information, go to www.osbornetechnologies.co.ulk or call Kevin Wheatley on 01226 295455.

The Enterprising Barnsley programme is a partnership between Barnsley Development Agency (BDA) and Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC). The programme is part financed by the Yorkshire and Humber European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf

For more information about Enterprising Barnsley go to www.enterprisingbarnsley.co.uk or contact Martin Beasley on 01226 772648 or at martinbeasley@barnsley.gov.uk

 

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