Visionary Remembered

NZ’s scientific and business community has lost one of its brightest stars with the death of Pulse Data founder Dr Russell Smith. Smith and his wife, early childhood specialist Marian D’Eve, were both killed when their Cessna 182 crashed into the sea off North Canterbury in August. Pulse Data (now known as Human Ware) is the largest provider of information technology for the visually impaired in the world, with an annual turnover of $50 million. Stevie Wonder owns three of the company’s BrailleNote handheld computers, which were championed in the US by Microsoft’s Bill Gates. Human Ware product manager Jonathan Mosen: “His vision, foresight and business acumen have enabled blind people to succeed. This one man has made such a difference to blind people all over the world.” Royal NZ Foundation for the Blind chairman, Don McKenzie: “He was a brilliant engineer and humanist … I’m devastated by his death.”

Dr Russell Smith & Marian D’Eve: died August 2005

Tags: Bill Gates  BrailleNote handheld computers  Canterbury  Don McKenzie  Human Ware  Jonathan Mosen  Marian D'Eve  Microsoft  New Zealand Herald  Pulse Data  Royal NZ Foundation  Russell Smith  Stevie Wonder