We make the Internet accessible and easy
- Global leaders in media solutions for people who are blind, visually impaired, or have other special needs for accessibility.
- Textalk provides Sweden’s newspaper industry with system solutions for text extraction and archiving.
- We develop publication tools focused on content, electronic newspapers, the web, and applications.
- We are experts in e-commerce and are the people behind Abicart, the most popular e-commerce platform in Sweden (Textalk Webshop).
How we work at Textalk
Focusing on people, purpose, and simplicity. The primary purpose of technology is to be secondary. It should solve and streamline, not complicate, our efforts. To make all forms of information transfer digital. Digital is the original. Printouts, newsprint, and printed matter are copies. Continually exploring and discovering reality is necessary and invaluable—much more so than reading a map.
Do it for people
Technical solutions are a natural tool in all social life. The machines are our friends. Without them, no paradise.
Do what is important
If a task is not critical, skip it. At Textalk, the president takes out the trash. Taking out the trash is an important job.
Make it simple
Don’t complicate things unnecessarily. The wheel, the hinge, and the cinnamon bun are the best inventions in the world.
Textalk is a spinoff company from the Chalmers University of Technology. Although we have existed as a corporation since 1987, our history is older. Our founder, Henryk Rubinstein, began studying engineering at Politechnika Warszawska in Poland, immigrated to Sweden in 1968, and continued researching in information theory at Chalmers. Rubinstein holds degrees in journalism and philosophy as well as a master’s degree in engineering.
Newspapers for people who are visually impaired
Together with Professor Lars Kristiansson and Leif J. Andersson, a journalist at the Göteborgs-Posten newspaper, Rubinstein created the world’s first digital newspaper way back in 1979. This technology provided news and literature to blind people.
Although a lot has happened technologically since then, the guiding principles of the Textalk business hold today; that is, the vision of making information available to everyone, on the same terms.
Newspapers for visually impaired people is still one of the most important business areas. Scandinavian authorities commissioned us to work with newspaper publishers to publish and distribute hundreds of newspapers daily in a format that is accessible to visually impaired and blind subscribers.
Making technical solutions accessible to everyone
Over the years, Textalk operations have spread to data processing, web publishing, e-commerce solutions, and data centers. You may think the step from newspapers for people who are visually impaired to e-commerce is a long one, but the red thread of making information and technology accessible to everyone is constantly present in all our business areas. To make something accessible means removing obstacles, whether it is publishing the news for people who are visually impaired or making e-commerce solutions inexpensive and easy to use for everyone.
When we started our Textalk Webshop platform in the 1990s, e-commerce platforms were expensive, complex, and hard to use. Only a few, technically skilled, businesses used e-commerce. Textalk Webshop brought a radical new approach that made e-commerce available to everyone, regardless of technical or financial competence. The first version of Textalk Webshop cost SEK 1000 per year and was super easy to use. We simplified online payment, skipping the complicated contracts with credit card redeemers and banks. The Textalk credit-card payment system allowed our e-businesses to start web shops with functioning credit-card payment in just a few minutes.
A lot has happened since then, and now it is easier for businesses to participate in e-commerce. Yet a lot remains to be accomplished, which is why we continue to develop and simplify e-commerce for everyone—now as Abicart, the most popular e-commerce solution in Sweden.
Just as Textalk Webshop (Abicart) made e-commerce simple and accessible, our online publishing tools have advanced according to the same principles: removing technical and financial obstacles. We developed several publishing tools to publish and maintain websites, home pages, and online newspapers. Over the years, we have created many other online tools for web-based surveying, data collecting, membership management, and e-mailings.
Innovation for participation
Everything we do at Textalk is founded on our belief in making technology, information sharing, and digital transactions available to everyone. We are engineering humanists, or humanistic engineers if you will, whose starting point is always to provide the opportunity for humans and companies to participate. That may be for blind people to be able to read the newspaper, or it may be for a business to operate a professional web shop or website.
In our daily contacts with publicists, readers, companies, and consumers, we constantly discover new situations in which we see the opportunities to improve, change, and make more accessible. The search for these opportunities to facilitate daily digital participation is what fuels the passion for innovation at the heart of all our activities.