Mobile that 'talks' to the visually challenged

Mobile that 'talks' to the visually challenged

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It is widely known that people with physical disabilities have a greater ability of perception and feel than others. In fact, it has been time and again proved that people suffering from disabilities such as blindness, physical impairment and deafness have been faring equally well or in certain instances better than their normal counterparts. Such is their determination to succeed in life. The telecommunications industry has been making strenuous efforts to make communication easy for such people. In one such initiative, Nokia has developed a handset for the visually challenged people. The handset has been introduced by Rogers Wireless of Canada recently.

Targeted at the visually impaired customers, the Nokia 6682RVI handset incorporates the 'Nuance TALKS' software developed by Nuance Communications. This software transforms the Nokia 6682RVI handset into a 'talking phone' so that visually challenged persons can use the device without any difficulty. The 'Nuance TALKS' software converts the menus and instructions and other content displayed on the screen into audio output. The converted audio output can be heard through the internal speaker in the mobile phone. Alternatively, an optional wired or Bluetooth headset can be used to listen to the audio output.

According to reports, Statistics Canada had put the number of people with significant vision loss in Canada at over six lakh. Going by the projections based on the aging population, this number is expected to witness a surge over the next decade. 'Nuance TALKS' would enable such people to remain connected wirelessly, with audible instructions allowing them to utilise the services that the mobile phone offers.

According to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), while technology can be of tremendous benefit to the people with visual disability, the true potential of the technology can be realised only if the devices are made affordable. According to the CNIB, gadgets such as the Nokia 6682RVI handset with 'Nuance TALKS' would be of immense value not only for the visually challenged people, but also to the aged persons who find it difficult to read small characters.