• December 11, 2007
  • By Leonard Klie Senior News Editor, Speech Technology and CRM magazines
  • Features

Ai Squared Lets Users Take Screen Reader with Them

Ai Squared this week released ZoomText USB, a portable version of its proprietary screen magnification/screen reading program.

This latest software offering comes pre-installed on a USB flash drive, along with the user's unique serial number and personal settings. By placing it on a USB drive, users can take the software with them and use it on any computer without having to purchase additional licensing or activate each installation. The ZoomText USB version comes with several software packages for magnifying and reading virtually any application, text, email, or Web document, and can provide a spoken output of the text through a headset or the computer's external speakers. Users can choose from a number of pre-loaded voices. It uses proprietary speech recognition technology developed by Ai Squared.

The software supports Windows Vista, XP, and 2000 operating systems and is available in 18 languages: U.S. and U.K. English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hebrew, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovak, and Swedish. Its design allows users to plug in the USB drive and, if ZoomText has already been installed on the system, immediately use the software. If ZoomText hasn’t been installed, a setup program launches for quick installation.

"Everything is included on the memory stick, so you can carry it with you," says McKenzie Brown, a marketing and communications specialist at Ai Squared. "It provides portability for when you're on the move."

The software application is marketed especially to blind or visually-impaired business travelers, but is finding a niche among students as well. "For students, it allows them to use any computer in a computer lab," Brown says.

"Computers have become increasingly ever-present in our lives, and so has our need to access and use them wherever we go," said Walter Elliott, president of Ai Squared. "This need for public computer access is no different for visually-impaired ZoomText users. For those who are unable to use computers without ZoomText, ZoomText USB is the solution to universal access."

New copies of ZoomText USB are $495 for Magnifier and $695 for Magnifier/Reader. Low-cost upgrades to the USB edition are available to all registered users of ZoomText. Upgrades from previous versions of ZoomText start at $100.

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