Steve Falcon

my career and stuff

While developing a remote learning system at Hewlett Packard's Cupertino distance learning facility, it became clear that the system could be made available to organizations everywhere. I joined the company I hired to build it, and we became One Touch Systems. One Touch is still in business today.

I modeled the overall system and designed the student and instructor user interfaces. Keypads installed at remote classroom sites allowed students to signal their desire to speak with the instructor. The keypads also let the student answer polls and questions from the instructor, with results transmitted, tabulated, and displayed back to the virtual classroom via the TV broadcast.

Steve Falcon - First Student Response System Keypad

The instructor's console controlled the viewer response functions. It did not handle any of the video production automation that I had implemented in Hewlett Packard's automated facility. Customers would need to implement their own method of video production and broadcast of the class itself.

Steve Falcon - Viewer Response System Instructor Console

Via both direct marketing and an early partnership with EDS, the original One Touch Viewer Response System was sold to major institutions worldwide. The list includes GM, Ford, AT&T, DEC, Oracle, Xerox, Unisys, Tandem, the FAA, USDOE, Los Alamos, and countless others. Over the years, the product has saved untold fortunes in travel and education cost.

Steve Falcon - Distance Learning Classroom

My next task at One Touch was to create a "shrink-wrapped" automated video production system so that we could offer companies the same savings and production quality that the system at Hewlett Packard provided.

Since PCs of the time were not capable of processing live video, I designed the most compact and cost effective system using off-the-shelf components, custom racks and furniture, and software-based automation and controls.

Steve Falcon - Video Production System Designs

As One Touch's operations progressed, it became clear that marketing and supporting the viewer response system product would consume the company's resources. We couldn't afford to develop the video production system.

I then took an engineering position at industry leading Compression Labs, where I would be responsible for their next-generation video conferencing system's user experience.