ScanSoft Launches SpeechPAK TALKS 2.0 for Blind and Low-Vision Customers

PEABODY, Mass. - ScanSoft, Inc. released SpeechPAK TALKS™ 2.0, the latest edition of its application designed for eyes-free audio access to mobile phones. Designed for Symbian series 60 and 80 mobile phones, the software works with the phone's existing interface to perform a host of functions that make mobile devices accessible for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Service providers, including Cingular, Vodafone and Telecom Italia, and a global network of assistive technology dealers currently market and offer SpeechPAK TALKS to customers across the globe.

SpeechPAK TALKS 2.0 is a screen reader that offers access to wireless application protocol (WAP) and HTTP Web pages on Symbian Series 60 phones. Now individuals can use speech to access more features, including location-based services such as news and traffic alerts, ring tone downloads and access to Web content. In addition, users can leverage Wayfinder's GPS navigation system to find a map and hear detailed directions to the nearest restaurant or hotel, or explore a route before starting a walk. Additional options allow TALKS users to shorten audio output to avoid long text-to-speech output for those who are familiar with their handset.

SpeechPAK TALKS alerts users to messages such as e-mail, text messages and incoming calls, and provides a caller ID function that enables users to learn who is calling without picking up the phone. With SpeechPAK TALKS, the caller's identity is read aloud to the user in a configurable voice. In addition, speech-enabled access to features, such as battery and signal strength, ensures that users can maintain the basic functions of the telephone.

SpeechPAK TALKS Premium has five new applications, including:

  • MiniGPS: Users can leverage the mini-GPS feature to set alarms or other actions to alert them to when their train has reached their destination or other travel-based situations.
  • Extended Recorder: Record short calls and other events by entering a key combination to turn on the portable voice recorder feature.
  • Extended Profiles: With configuration of your phone's profiles, users can switch profiles at a given time, such as changing the ringer to "silent" at night, rather than turning the phone off.
  • Audio Player: With SpeechPAK TALKS, mobile phones can play a variety of audio formats, including MP3, and can be used to listen to music or audio-based content on the road.
  • World Clock: The addition of the world clock enables users to hear what time it is virtually anywhere in the world.

SpeechPAK TALKS is a screen reader that supports the new Nokia Communicator 9300 and 9500 PDA/phone combinations that use Symbian and implement the Series 80 user interface with a standard keyboard. SpeechPAK TALKS for Series 60 continues to support new handsets, like the Nokia 6630 3G handset, or the Nokia 6260 with its clamshell design. In addition, SpeechPAK TALKS is a screen reader for Symbian that offers Braille connectivity for Bluetooth-enabled Braille devices. With the Braille SDK, Braille device manufacturers can integrate their devices with SpeechPAK TALKS. Blind and even deaf-blind users will be able to access their handsets with Braille input and output, including access to text messaging and other features of their mobile devices.

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