Cingular Launches New Software for Blind and Low-Vision Customers
ATLANTA - Cingular Wireless announced the launch of TALKSTM, a speech-enabled application designed to address the needs of blind and low-vision mobile device users. TALKS gives the blind and low vision consumer equal access to many of today's advanced wireless services. Created in partnership with ScanSoft, Inc., TALKS is compatible with the Nokia 6620. TALKS converts menus, instructions and content displayed on the Nokia 6620 mobile phone screen into speech for output to the phone's internal speaker or through an optional wired or Bluetooth headset.
According to the American Foundation for the Blind, there are approximately 10 million people who are blind or have low vision in the United States.* TALKS allows the blind and low-vision community access communications services such as text messaging, email and phone directories. One of the features of TALKS is the talking incoming caller ID via computer-generated speech. TALKS enables a person to hear who is calling and be selective with the calls they take, as would any sighted customer.
"The American Foundation for the Blind applauds Cingular for its innovative approach to addressing cell phone accessibility for people who are blind or visually impaired," commented Paul Schroeder, vice president, program and policy group, American Foundation for the Blind. "This is the first advanced cell phone released in the />U.S. that allows users to access all of its many features through speech output. We commend Cingular for its leadership in ensuring that all their customers can take advantage of state-of-the-art communications technology."
With TALKS and the Nokia 6620, users can**:
Hear caller ID information and check logs of incoming and outgoing calls
Write and hear emails, text messages and notes
Manage contact information and dial phone numbers from the directory
Use the appointment calendar
Edit and add contacts, settings and profiles according to their personal preferences
Use the calculator, unit converter, alarm clock and other tools
Receive audible information about the battery level, network and signal strength
TALKS will tell users if email or text messages have arrived or how many calls they missed, and will speech-enable key functions for the phone.
Currently, the Nokia 6620 is the only handset Cingular offers that is compatible with TALKS.