By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Las Vegas – Plantronics' Clarity division, which markets technology for senior citizens, has teamed with ClearCaptions to launch Ensemble, an amplified home phone that allows individuals with hearing loss to read incoming phone calls.
Through a 7-inch tablet-based display, Ensemble captions conversations in real time while also amplifying incoming sound up to 50dB.
The words are transcribed through ClearCaptions, a Federal Communications Commission-certified telephone-captioning service that is similar to closed captions for television. As the user listens, captions appear on Ensemble’s touchscreen display in a large, easy-to-read font that can be enlarged or adjusted with the swipe of a finger.
Ensemble amplifies the incoming voice with a patented digital sound processing technology that functions like a hearing aid to make soft sounds audible and keep loud sounds in a comfortable range. Users can adjust the tone or amplification settings to customize Ensemble to their unique degree of hearing loss.
The touchscreen interface features a scalable onscreen dial pad to make calling easier for users with low vision or dexterity challenges.
Ensemble is also equipped with ClarityLogic, which allows a customer-service representative to remotely access the phone and make adjustments for the user. Clarity representatives can adjust Ensemble’s volume or tweak the tone control on the user’s behalf.
“Ensemble is breaking new ground on sight and sound,” said Carsten Trads, president of Clarity. “Not only is it loud and clear, but it’s the first to deliver captions through a tablet display. We’ve brought together the latest in technology to provide the hearing loss community with a phone that is carefully designed for their needs. Ensemble can be life changing for millions of people who want to enjoy phone conversations again, reconnect with loved ones or stay engaged in the world.”
Ensemble has a retail of $229.
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