Steve Jacobs Bio

Last updated on June 1, 2022

Steve Jacobs has worked in the high-tech industry since the early ’70s. Steve is President of IDEAL Group, Inc. IDEAL Group is a 2002 spin-off from IDEAL at NCR Corporation where Steve served as President until his retirement at the end of 2002.

IDEAL Group and its subsidiaries are all Not Just For Profit (NJFP) corporations where value is determined by profit, self-sustainability, and the mission to “enhance the independence, quality-of-life, and employability of individuals with disabilities through the development of low/no cost technology-based products and services.”

IDEAL Group serves as the parent company to four information and communications technology companies, which include:

  1. InftyReader Group, Inc.
    Established in March, 2007, InftyReader Group, Inc. offers a sophisticated optical character recognition application that is used by thousands of universities to recognize, convert, and enable the editing of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) educational content (both print and digital) into accessible formats in support of students with print disabilities. A print disability is a condition related to blindness, visual impairment, specific learning disability or other physical condition in which the student needs an alternative or specialized format (i.e., Braille, Large Print, Audio, Digital text) in order to access and gain information from conventional printed materials. InftyReader is an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) application that recognizes and translates scientific documents (including math symbols) into LaTeX, MathML and XHTML. In 2012, IDEAL Group received a White House Champions of Change Award for enhancing the accessibility of STEM curriculum for students with disabilities. InftyReader Scientific Research Studies Published on Google Scholar
  2. Apps4Android, Inc.
    Established in January, 2009, Apps4Android, Inc. is a social entrepreneurship company. Apps4Android’s primary objective is to facilitate widespread technological changes that enhance the independence, quality of life, and employability of individuals with disabilities. Apps4Android is now the world’s largest developer of Android applications designed in support of individuals with disabilities, with 25+ installations. Apps4Android apps are installed on the devices distributed by 567 Wireless Carriers in 142 countries.
  3. Knowledge Discovery Solutions, Inc.
    Established in 2014, Knowledge Discovery Solutions, a joint venture company of IDEAL Group, Inc. and Shaping Tomorrow from the United Kingdom. KDS offers knowledge-mining solutions in support of gathering “anticipatory intelligence” to help industry and government agencies identify and act upon emerging opportunities as well as identify the risks associated with those opportunities.
  4. Speech2RTT Communications, Inc.
    Established in 2018, Speech2RTT Communications, Inc. markets an Android app called Speech2RTT. RTT stands for Real-Time Text. Speech2RTT is a communications application that enables people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or late-deafened to communicate with anyone using an Android smart phone.

Previous to NCR’s spin-off from AT&T, Steve served as Chairman of AT&T Bell Lab’s Project Freedom. In 1992-1993 Steve’s group pioneered the use of interactive video technology for sign-language communications over telephone lines (dual ISDNs). This technology, now in the mainstream, is referred to as Video Relay Services (VRS). More:

Appointments, Congressional Testimonies, Recognitions:

Sampling of Publications:

Sampling of Historical IDEAL Group Projects:

1. President Bush 54th Inauguration Technology Project

Integrated technology into George W. Bush’s inauguration program and guidebook. The project repurposed technology being used by the Israeli military to come up with a method that enables a person who is blind to scan 77 pages of text… with only one pass of a scanner, with 100% accuracy.

2. Hosted the Fifty-Fourth Ball Webcast

3. Established AT&T Bell Labs Project Freedom

From 1991-1994 Steve served as Chairman of AT&T’s Project Freedom. In 1993, this group pioneered the use of interactive video technology for sign-language communications over telephone lines (dual ISDNs). This technology is now referred to as Video Relay Services (VRS).

4. Smithsonian Institution Project

Designed, developed, and implemented accessible prototype kiosks for the Smithsonian Institution’s American History Museum.

5. Managed the Technology for President Clinton’s Digital Divide Tour

6. Developed Vice President Gore’s Digital Talking Book

Published a Digital Talking Book in support of a reception held at the residence of Vice President Gore.

7. Built the Internet Resource Center for the 53rd Presidential Inauguration

8. Managed the Technology for President Clinton’s 53rd Presidential Inauguration

Integrated technology into the 53rd Presidential inaugural program book.

Education and Family

Steve is a 1973 graduate of Ohio State University. Steve and wife, Pauline, have been married for 47 years. Pauline and Steve have two daughters and a granddaughter.