‘SensoryPod’ fuelling Barnsley firm’s growth

Expansion: Osborne Technologies' Kevin Wheatley and marketing executive Lauren Titley inside one of the SensoryPods
Expansion: Osborne Technologies' Kevin Wheatley and marketing executive Lauren Titley inside one of the SensoryPods
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An innovative Barnsley technology company is targeting visitor attractions, colleges and schools after developing a SensoryPod, aimed at people with special needs.

Osborne Technologies’ SensoryPod is a stand-alone room which can be set up inside or outdoors and is designed to create a soothing and stimulating environment by combining ambient lighting, video, surround-sound, internet access and simple touch controls.

Osborne Technologies’ Kevin Wheatley, who developed the original concept, said: “The idea of the SensoryPod is that we can customise it to meet each customer’s requirements and our team of engineers can install it anywhere.

“It is great way to create a completely inclusive experience with lots of specialist features, where space is at a premium.”

A prototype Pod was set up at Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster. Now, the first SensoryPod has been installed at a special school in London and the second is being installed at Bury College in Greater Manchester.

Pods cost between £40,000 and £70,000 and are the latest product to be launched by Osborne Technologies, which is based on the Fall Bank Industrial Estate at Dodworth and has been expanding rapidly.

Osborne is being helped to manage its continuing expansion by Enterprising Barnsley, the business support programme that has attracted £2.3 million of investment from the European Regional Development Fund.

Enterprising Barnsley’s John Heckingbottom said: “Osborne Technologies has brought another exciting product to market in the SensoryPod and we are delighted to support them at this time.

“The company is a local success story. Its roots stretch back to the 1990s when founder Tom Osborne started refurbishing computers in his garage. It now produces a wide range of IT and audio visual products.

“We’ve been supporting the firm’s growth since 2010. In that short time Osborne Technologies has seen its turnover grow by 70 per cent and its workforce increase by 17 people.”