Interview: Rehacare 2022
Last week, Semanux was at the Rehacare trade fair in Düsseldorf for the first time as an exhibitor. Besides interesting conversations with visitors and other exhibitors, our team was able to gather many other impressions. Therefore we asked Florian and Lukas how they experienced these four days of fair.
Rehacare is the world’s largest trade fair in the fields of care and rehabilitation. For us as an emerging start-up, it’s a great stage to present our product.
“What was your personal highlight?”
Florian: I was thrilled how people tried out our demo. There was a moment when a young man raised his eyebrow and said to his companions: “Wow, only with a webcam? I know someone who needs just that!”.
Lukas: Yes, genuine joy and interest in seeing and hearing about our product and how it could make people’s lives easier in the future. The contact with the visitors was something very special.
Florian: A particularly nice moment for me in this context was meeting a man with severe muscle spasticity. He saw our demo and was very happy that we are working on software for motor disabled people. He was using a speech computer with Linux and was used to new software being developed mostly for Windows only. But since we are currently working on making our software available in the Mac variant soon, he was confident that Semanux will soon enrich his everyday life as well.
“Interesting, have you received any more specific feedback about what our users need in the future?”
Lukas: Yes, I met someone who told me that his company spend a lot of money so that he can work without barriers in the office in spite of his disability. But when he gets home, he can’t do anything with a PC because his health insurance doesn’t cover to equip his apartment in a similar way to his office. He has no way to pay for it himself. For him Semanux in combination with a simple webcam is the solution with which he can do so many new things.
It has also made us realize how individual disabilities can be. This means that we have to offer our users a lot of customization options so that they can tailor Semanux exactly to their needs. One challenge is to make sure that our software does not become too complicated, but remains easy to use and beginner-friendly!
Florian: But we can manage that :) At the fair we could see how solution-oriented the industry is and how feedback-oriented the customers are. This combination drives the development enormously. Most of the other exhibitors welcomed the fact that start-ups with software skills have entered the market. Because in general, the market is dominated by specialized hardware companies, and their software is not very adapted to the latest trends in usability and UX design.
“Were there any interesting exhibitors you were able to visit privately?”
Lukas: Probably because of my background in computational linguistics, I was interested in seeing communication tools that give voice to people who may not have their own. Depending on the cognitive and motor capabilities of the users there are very different solutions, for example from Humanelektronik, Jabbla and Tobii.
“What will you take with you for the next trade fair?”
Florian: Well, if we are honest, that 32 days are enough to prepare a trade fair if you have the right team!
Lukas: My personal takeaway is how easy and fun it is to talk to trade show visitors and present our product. For us as a team, it’s probably the realization that we’ll bring a coffee machine to our next trade show :)
You can watch a recording of the our demonstration at the booth by Florian in German language and by Lukas in English language in our YouTube channel!