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Haier Offering Braille On Room Air Remotes, Shows Next-Gen AC At SINOCES

NEW YORK — Haier America is producing
Braille-texted room air remote controllers
for blind and visually impaired

The MagnaClik remotes, which Haier
described as an industry first, also feature
magnets that hold them to the sides
of ACs or other metal surfaces for easy
storage and retrieval. An audible click
sounds when the remote has been attached

Haier, the sales and marketing arm
in the Western Hemisphere for China’s
Haier Group, said it consulted with
Lighthouse International, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving
vision and helping people of overcome
the challenges of vision loss.

“The addition of Braille text on our air
conditioner remote controls demonstrates
Haier’s commitment to a barrier-
free user experience for all consumers,”
said Andrew Ziegler, senior
product manager in Haier’s innovation
and engineering home-comfort group.
“Haier’s new MagnaClik remote control
offers real-world convenience to sighted
and sight-impaired consumers.”

More than 25.2 million Americans are
blind or visually impaired, according to
the 2008 National Health Interview Survey,
and as the population ages the incidence
of age-related eye disease and
visual impairments is expected to increase
dramatically, Haier said.

In addition to its barrier-free remote,
the company has also launched numerous
sustainable design initiatives
that include converting all of its room
air, portable AC and dehumidifiers to
the eco-friendly R-410A refrigerant, and
is expanding its assortment of Energy
Star-qualified products.

What’s more, more than 95 percent
of Haier’s 2010 home-comfort product
line is RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous
Substances) compliant, which helps
keep lead and mercury out of landfills,
while its home comfort products now
come in substantially smaller packaging,
which enables Haier to ship more
products in fewer containers, reducing
its global carbon footprint, the company

Haier’s home-comfort group has also
launched a “3-In-One Comfort” branding
initiative on 2010 retail packaging,
with logos that clearly identify the features
of multifunction products, such as
air conditioner-heater-dehumidifier.

Looking ahead, Haier’s next-generation
ACs were unveiled earlier this
month at SINOCES in Qinddao, China.
The fluorine-free conversion models
can save 5.2 kilowatts/hour of electricity
and can reduce carbon dioxide
emissions by 1.7 kilograms, the company

Elsewhere at the show, Haier showcased
its “Ubiquitous Home” (U-Home)
technology, which “keeps them connected
to the world when at home and connected
to their home when outside,” the
company said. By leveraging the Internet,
mobile communications and fixed
telephone connections, users can remotely
operate U-Home-equipped majaps
such as refrigerators, ACs, TVs and
washers from any location.

Haier described its Web-connected
refrigerators as “the most energy-efficient
multi-door refrigerators in the
world,” with daily power consumption of
0.78 kilowatts/hour. The units can monitor
food freshness and suggest meals
based on the consumer’s body type,
while offering a variety of online options
including an Internet video phone.

Also at the show were Haier’s S-drive
frequency conversion washers, developed
with GE, which can cut power consumption
by up to 20 percent and water
and noise by up to 30 percent, while
greatly improving cleaning action, the
manufacturer said.

None of the products shown at SINOCES
are immediately planned for the
U.S. market, Haier told TWICE.