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September 2019
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Aerden [userpic]
Talking Microwave Oven

Gadgets: I'm at work, so I can't write long.

Talking Microwave Oven, specifically designed for people with low vision or who are blind. Models are the TMO-1010 and TMO-2. Sales price is $369.95 For more information, call this number: 1-866-700-3923.

I will post a website as soon as I can do a Google search. I'm about to go into a meeting now.

Wait what?

Add a speech-synthesis chip and a low-fi speaker to a microwave that probably retails for $40.00 ($100.00 if it's high-end) and it's $369.00?

OK, OK, so there are economies of scale which are not present in this item and it may have to be built in the U.S. because of english-language requirements and special regulations pertaining to the blind and yadda yadda, but--$369.00?

Has it got Sensurround(tm)?

--Skarl the Drummer

Re: Wait what?

I agree, it does sound overpriced. But you see the same thing with orphan drugs and other talking devices. Take the Accu-Chek VoiceMate System (a talking blood glucose monitor). The visible-only model (Accu-Chek Advantage, I think), is available at your local grocery store pharmacy--I'm not sure of the price, but I've seen them there. The VoiceMate, however, costs $508 if it is purchased in Texas by the Division for Blind Services, which is more than most elderly people on a fixed income can afford all at one go, and insurance does not always pay for it.

I suspect it's a problem of too small a market for these items to be truly profitable for the companies which make them. Plus, makers of medical equipment know that they can charge more for things that health insurance will sometimes completely or partially pay for, so their incentive to lower the price is not as pressing as it might otherwise be.

My best guesses, anyway.