Peter Ford (news anchor)

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Peter S. Ford is an Australian CEO, software developer, author and former journalist and news anchor.

He is the founder and Chairman of Control Bionics, a neural systems technology company, and the inventor of NeuroSwitch, an EMG (electromyograph) based communications and control system for people with profound disabilities including Locked in Syndrome. NeuroSwitch Liberator enables a person with quadriplegia and loss of speech to control a computer, communicate with text and text-to-speech (TTS) and control environmental systems, television, video, music and other personal media, internet access, emails, games and SMS (mobile texting).[1] The NeuroSwitch System's patented control software runs with Apple-based telepresence, providing immediate client service with live remote telemetry monitoring, and live remote support of a user's Liberator programs and hardware.

NeuroSwitch users can now control QB telepresence robotic systems remotely, across a room or around the world through the internet to the Headquarters of Anybots in Silicon Valley.

Career[edit]

He began work in the media as the host of the morning show on Radio Station 4WK in Toowoomba Queensland which at the time was a member of the New England Radio Network based in Tamworth NSW.

He was a television news anchor in the 1980s and 1990s in Australia and the USA, and was known in Australia for working at the Seven Network as an anchor for Seven News. He was also the first co-anchor of Sunrise which he presented with Chris Bath. He also co-anchored Seven's short lived News At Five.

In 1981, he joined CNN in Atlanta as a news anchor and reporter and was a founding anchor at CNN's Headline News. In 1984 he became the 6pm and 11pm news anchor at WSVN the then NBC affiliate in Miami, FL, and then in 1988 he joined NBC's WRC-TV in Washington DC as a news anchor.

He covered national and international news, specializing in technology, medicine and military affairs (he is a 1972 graduate of Officer Training Unit, Scheyville [2][3][4] who served as an infantry officer with the Third Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment), providing live coverage on Space Shuttle missions at Kennedy Space Center, and reporting live from the White House and the Pentagon on military and foreign policy. As a foreign correspondent for NBC and its affiliates he reported live from Moscow, The Vatican, the Persian Gulf for Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, the Sydney Olympics, and from Islamabad, Pakistan and from Tora Bora and Jalalabad, Afghanistan immediately after 9/11.

In 2000 Simon & Schuster, New York, published his first novel, "The Keeper of Dreams", set in Australia and the USA.

In 2017 Kindle published the electronic edition as "Dreaming Country"

In 1982, while at CNN, he became a computer programmer/analyst on the first team to develop microcomputers for rehabilitation and communications for people with disabilities at the VAMC Rehabilitation R&D Laboratory in Atlanta, one of the first of its kind in the world. Working with Principal Investigator Gary Wynn Kelly, he wrote JoyWriter 2, an Apple-based program that enabled people with neuromuscular disease and spinal injuries to replace a computer keyboard with a joystick controller. For the next three decades alongside journalism, he continued to develop advanced technology communications and control systems for people with profound disabilities, and served as a software consultant to rehabilitation researchers and therapists in the USA, UK and Australia.

NeuroSwitch has been featured in TV and newspaper reports in the USA [5] and Australia [6][7]. NeuroSwitch is listed and registered with the US Food and Drug Administration as a powered environmental control system, and powered communications system.

In January 2017, "NeuroNode" - the next generation of NeuroSwitch technology - was launched at the international ATIA Conference in the USA. NeuroNode enables a person to control assistive technology on Apple Mac (OS X), iPhones and iPads (iOS), Android and Galaxy, Google Pixel and Microsoft PCs. It is a powerful, versatile WiFi and Bluetooth enabled self-contained wearable the size of a wristwatch, that can be used immediately: just Stick it On, Turn it On, Get On - for text, text-to-speech, texting to smartphones, emails, and surfing the web. NeuroNode is designed for people with severe disabilities such as ALS and spinal cord injuries, and for people with CP and is expanding applications for people on the autism spectrum

Honours and awards[edit]

Ford is a winner of the National Disability Award 2015 for Excellence in Accessible Technology for NeuroSwitch [2]

He was the New South Wales nominee for Senior Australian of the Year 2014 [3]

He is a Life Member of "Mensa".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Quirke, Michelle (5 November 2004). "Nerve sensors turn thought into action". The Dominion Post. p. 3. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Australian of the Year Awards: Peter Ford