Steve Jacobs Bio

Steve Jacobs has been a member of the high-tech industry since the mid ’70s. Steve is President of IDEAL Group, Inc. and CEO of Apps4Android, Inc., one of several IDEAL Group companies. IDEAL Group is a 2002 spin-off from IDEAL at NCR Corporation where Steve served as President until his retirement at the end of 2002.

IDEAL Group and its subsidiaries are all Not Just For Profit (NJFP) corporations where value is determined, not only by profitability and self-sustainability, but by their level of success in driving cost-reductions into the hands of individuals with disabilities. IDEAL Group’s mission is to “enhance the independence, quality-of-life, and employability of individuals with disabilities through the development and distribution of low/no cost technology-based products and services.”

IDEAL Group Subsidiary Companies:

  • InftyReader Group, Inc.
    Established in March, 2007, InftyReader Group offers a sophisticated optical character recognition application that is used by thousands of universities around the world to recognize, convert, and enable the editing of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) educational content (both print and digital) into accessible formats in support of students with print disabilities. Converted formats include LaTeX, MathML, Human Readable TeX, and Word XML. In 2012, IDEAL Group received a White House Champions of Change Award for enhancing the accessibility of STEM curriculum for students with disabilities. See:
  • Apps4Android, Inc.
    Established in January, 2009, Apps4Android is a social entrepreneurship company. Apps4Android’s primary objective is to facilitate widespread technological changes that enhance the independence, quality of life, and employability of individuals with disabilities. Apps4Android is now the world’s largest developer of Android applications designed in support of individuals with disabilities, with more than 23 million installations. Apps4Android apps are installed on the devices of 82 wireless manufacturers and distributed by 568 wireless service providers in 214 countries. See: In 2017, Apps4Android developed Speech2RTT® Communicator. Speech2RTT® Communicator enables people who are deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, deaf-blind, and speech-impaired, to communicate with other people, using a standard Android smart phone. It accommodates users in 90+ countries in any of 60+ languages. See:
  • Knowledge Discovery Solutions, Inc.
    Established in 2014, Knowledge Discovery Solutions, a joint venture company of IDEAL Group, Inc. and Shaping Tomorrow, UK, offers knowledge-mining solutions in support of gathering “anticipatory intelligence” to help industry and government agencies identify and act upon emerging opportunities as well as identify the risks associated with those opportunities.

Previous to NCR’s spin-off from AT&T, Steve served as Chairman of AT&T Bell Lab’s Project Freedom. In 1992-1993 Steve’s group pioneered the use of interactive video technology for sign-language communications over telephone lines (dual ISDNs). This technology, now in the mainstream, is referred to as Video Relay Services (VRS). More:

IDEAL Group History:

Jacobs’ Appointments, Congressional Testimonies, Recognitions:

Sampling of Jacobs’ Publications:

Historical IDEAL Group Engagements:

Education and Family:

Steve is a 1973 graduate of Ohio State University. Steve and wife, Pauline, have been married for 43 years. Pauline and Steve have two daughters, Shana and Jessica, and a granddaughter Brooke.