ROCKLIN, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/04/13 -- Deaf individuals throughout the United States now have access to SmartVP -- a new, innovative videophone unveiled with a limited release in April by Purple Communications, Inc. SmartVP combines the latest in technology on an intuitive platform with a wide array of smart applications and features to provide deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals with clear and almost life-like video conversations through their televisions.
Free to the end user, SmartVP allows the deaf to sign directly with each other or communicate with hearing people through Video Relay Service (VRS). VRS is an FCC regulated service that connects American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters with users in real-time to facilitate communication between hearing and deaf individuals. Based on the award-winning telyHD device from Tely Labs, SmartVP is the first to integrate apps, true HD video quality and many other accessibility features. It is built on the Android operating system and features a wide-angle HD camera capable of sending and receiving up to 720P from one SmartVP to another.
Purple initially launched SmartVP in California with a one-on-one installation process to ensure the highest level of customer service. "Our initial launch was met with great success -- people repeatedly told us that SmartVP is unlike any videophone they've seen before and it is changing their lives," said Purple Communications' President and Chief Executive Officer John Ferron. "So many have been excited about the platform's capabilities and are eager to get their hands on the device, so we're excited to take the next step and make SmartVP available coast-to-coast."
"The videophones previously available to deaf individuals use technology that is antiquated -- built a decade ago. The response has been overwhelmingly positive by deaf consumers to the newer and better technology found in the SmartVP, and we are pleased to release it nationwide to deaf individuals," said Purple's Chief Technology Officer Tony La Rosa. "The SmartVP is different from the videophone technology that most people are familiar with -- Skype or Facetime® -- as it allows deaf individuals to talk with hearing people using their first language -- ASL. Without this technology, deaf individuals could be completely isolated, unable to talk to their child's teacher or even reach 911 in an emergency." La Rosa continues, "It is also the first videophone to feature 720P true HD quality, providing users with crisp and almost life-like video conversations through their televisions. For a language that relies solely on visual cues and signs, this is critical. This is akin to a hearing person having a truly clear connection on their phone for the first time ever."
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