Spotlight: Abalone LLC gives a face to the physical effects of drug use
The Face2Face system shows at-risk individuals how their face will look after years of use
By PoliceOne Staff
Company Name: Abalone LLC
Headquarters: Moss Beach, CA
Signature Product: Face2Face iPad Drug Educational System
With the ongoing fight against the drug epidemic, Abalone LLC CEO Laslo Vespremi recognized an opportunity to use his 25 years of software experience. The result? Software that simulates the effect years of drug use will have on the user's face – a scarily effective method of educating people about the hazards of drug abuse. Find out more about Abalone LLC, and how they are working to save young people from drug addiction.
Where did your company name originate from?
The company is located in Moss Beach, 20 miles south of San Francisco. The beach is full with abalone shells - hence the name.
What was the inspiration behind starting your company?
I had 25 years of software marketing experience working for large companies. It was time for me to try it on my own. I also had some new applications in mind that I was planning to develop. One was a 3D face program called Faceshop.
Why do you believe your products are essential to the Police community?
Drug prevention is much, much more cost effective than trying to fight addiction later on. Once a person starts to do drugs, repeat rates are up to 90 percent, and the court and corrections costs can be $250,000 on the average. Prevention is much cheaper.
What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?
Mainly to get the word out how effective Face2Face is.
What makes your company unique?
We are a small, nimble company that can customize our products very fast and effectively. Our new version of Face2Face actually extends the simulation to not just crystal meth, but to other drugs such as opiates, prescription drugs, heroin, and alcohol. Each alters appearances in different ways.
What do your customers like best about you and your products?
Its stunning visuals that show how a person's face changes under the influence of long term use of crystal meth, opiates and alcohol. It is almost like peeking into an unhappy future - one that is preventable. Our new class-room quiz that accompanies Face2Face is 15 questions and takes around 25-30 minutes to complete. The class collects points as they answer questions correctly, which makes the presentation interactive. It’s just a fun way to bring across a serious message to young people, rather than a slide-by-slide presentation that requires little participation.
What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?
We believe that showing what drugs can do to a young person’s body over time really resonates with the younger age group. Rather than simply being told that drugs are bad, why not show them? Young people are very conscious about their looks and don't want to be ugly and socially undesirable. Saving young people from addiction is the most rewarding thing I have ever done.
Anything new going on with your company?
We just launched a new Face2Face iPad 2.0 version that is a self-contained Drug Education System. It includes the Face2Face software, the 15 question quiz and a before-and-after simulation. This iPad version is very easy to operate. It’s as easy as playing Angry Birds.
Is there any fun fact or trivia that you’d like to share with our users about you or your company?
The origins of the Face2Face software – the before-and-after simulation – come from another one of our products used by plastic surgeons.
What’s next for your company?
We are interested in partnering with distributors who are more established in the law enforcement market.
For more information on Abalone LLC, visit http://www.abalonellc.com/.