iCan Interactive: It All Started with a Little Grace

Stephen and his Girls

You’ve probably heard that Stephen Eades is the founder of iCan Interactive: a group of innovators dedicated to investigating solutions to everyday, practical challenges faced by the vulnerable populations in our society.

Stephen is an advocate for change…

…a general disruptor…

…a definite inspirer…

… and above all, an inventor who wants to develop technology that can help increase the independence of people who struggle with common tasks – tasks which require typical abilities that we all too often take for granted.

Like most inventors who are fiercely driven to create something that can help those in need of assistance, Stephen’s inspiration comes directly from the heart – and it all started with a little Grace.

A few years ago, Stephen was delighted when his two baby girls came into the world: beautiful, healthy little twins he named Millie and Grace.

For a while, the babies just did adorable baby things together: sleep, eat, cry, gurgle, snuggle… no one could have guessed that anything was amiss.

But as they grew, Stephen noticed that Grace was developing differently than her sister.

Grace didn’t smile, or laugh like Millie. She never responded to her name. It was clear that there was something different about Grace.

So, the testing began…

…and through early intervention, Grace was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of two.

Of course, this news was cause for concern on a few levels. Like any parent, what Stephen wants most of all is for Grace to be happy – and his primary worry was that he wouldn’t always be there to give Grace the help she needs with everyday tasks.

His biggest (and most troublesome) question was, how is Grace going to:

• face the challenges that come with completing each step of her daily routine

• follow a schedule

• or cope with the effects of over-stimulation without him?

Obviously, Stephen’s mind harboured these worries, and countless others. But as a man of action, he didn’t sit and stew. He sprung into motion, and immediately began his research.

Stephen combed the world for something that could gently help Grace attain more independence – and comfort her through an over-stimulation event. But unfortunately, he couldn’t find anything that would be able to give Grace the kind of autonomy he wants for her.

“I thought that somehow, there had to be something out there – but after a relentless, global search, I couldn’t find anything I wanted for Grace.”

Inventors are notorious for never giving up; and Stephen is a true inventor. He wasn’t about to give up just because what he needed for Grace did not exist.

If someone hadn’t developed it yet – then Stephen would.

With a long career in the technology industry behind him, Stephen decided to blend his skills, his daughter’s exceptional abilities and the latest advances in technology.

And so, inspired by Grace, Stephen Eades launched iCan Interactive with the intention to create a companion who can help his daughter (and countless other children on the spectrum)… a “friendly” watch named Olli!

But Olli isn’t just a watch. He is a patent-pending, artificially intelligent wearable that helps children on the autism spectrum achieve independence through scheduling and gamification.

After two years of study, involving hundreds of professionals and with support from the National Research Council of Canada, Olli grows into what Stephen envisioned more and more, every day.

Stephen knows that Olli is the companion that will close the gap for Grace. Olli can help her (as well as millions of others diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder) achieve security, independence, self-regulation and self-confidence. Above all, Olli makes it fun!

And iCan Interactive doesn’t intend to stop there. Intelligent wearables like Olli can help with the challenges faced by all kinds of vulnerable populations: those with brain damage, or people with dementia can also benefit with a little guidance to keep them on track and help them be more independent.

Olli is growing quickly, and he can’t wait for his big debut!

Thanks for visiting – and stay tuned to hear how the rest of this story unfolds.

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