Purple Communications, Inc. today announced the availability of the SmartVP 2.0 videophone specifically designed for people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. The next generation of SmartVP features upgraded hardware and software, supported by new and powerful video platform to provide a seamless communication experience.
Initially launched in 2013, SmartVP is an Android-based HD videophone that connects to a television, allowing people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing to communicate with each other and with people who don't know sign language through the use of Video Relay Service (VRS). VRS connects a deaf individual to an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter who then vocalizes the conversation to the other party. Similarly, the interpreter relays what the hearing person says and conveys that to the deaf individual through ASL.
"Thousands in the deaf community are using SmartVP every day to connect with their friends, family and the hearing world - we intended this to be a life-changing product and now we've taken the next step to provide users with the best possible VRS experience," said Purple Communications CEO John Ferron. "We've worked incredibly hard to improve not just the hardware and software, but also our network infrastructure to make the SmartVP 2.0 experience better than ever."
Indiana deaf consumer Ronelle Johnson was one of the first people to receive a SmartVP in the area.
"I have had SmartVP for a year now, and it has really made my life easier by giving me equal access to communication. I love the features and apps that SmartVP offers, and the HD video clarity is like having an interpreter right in my own living room!"
The SmartVP 2.0's hardware upgrades along with the latest software update (version 1.2) ensure users can enjoy higher quality video and a more reliable connection on the most feature-rich device on the market. Current SmartVP users can also take advantage of the 1.2 software update through an over-the- air (OTA) update.
New features in the SmartVP 1.2 software update include:
"SmartVP 2.0 is an important next step in the evolution of VRS, continuing Purple's track record of innovative firsts for the deaf community," said Purple Chief Technology Officer Tony La Rosa. "At Purple, we're committed to ensuring the deaf community has access to similar advancements in communication technology as the hearing world, and SmartVP 2.0 reflects this. We're continually working to improve SmartVP and look forward to integrating even more features and functions that will unlock the device's full potential."
Additional SmartVP 2.0 features include two 360-degree bright notification flashers, the market's most powerful remote and support for voice carryover (VCO) service, which give users the ability to use their own voice during a call.
Other SmartVP 2.0 applications include YouTube for select ASL channels, a weather app and CaptionFish for finding nearby captioned movies and show times.
The SmartVP 2.0 and VRS are free of charge to qualified individuals, as are Purple's P3 software and mobile applications for PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
For more information, visit www.purple.us