Rogers announces Nokia E71 with TALKS software for the visually impaired

Most of the new phones these days highlight massive touchscreen displays and high-performing megapixel cameras, but these features mean very little for those with visual loss. It’s a good thing then that Rogers’ new offering puts those needs into consideration.

The Nokia E71 is by no means a new phone on the market. However, what’s unique to this particular release is that it comes equipped with Nuance’s TALKS software which converts displayed text into speech. Coupled with the E71’s decent feature set, you’ve got one very capable smartphone for the visually impaired individual. Putting things into perspective, one shouldn’t be surprise with this latest move by Rogers as this isn’t the first time they’ve released a mobile phone tweaked to suit those with visual loss. Back in 2007, the Canadian carrier released the Nokia 6682RVI, their first phone to sport TALKS software, thus making the Nokia E71 their second visually impaired friendly device.

The Nokia E71 with TALKS software is available online or can be purchased by calling 1-888-ROGERS2. It’s retailing for $99.99 on a three year voice and data contract. With over 836,000 Canadians living with significant vision loss, the availability of this new tweaked smartphone is certainly a welcome addition for the visually impaired community.

Rogers Wireless launches Nuance’s TALKS Software on Nokia E71 to assist Canadians with vision loss

TORONTO, Oct. 2 /CNW/ – Rogers Wireless, the country’s largest wireless provider, today announced the availability of an additional mobile device enabled with Nuance’s TALKS(TM) software for consumers who are blind or living with vision loss. The Nokia E71 is pre-loaded with TALKS, Nuance’s assistive technology that converts displayed text into speech. According to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), there are more than 836,000 Canadians living with significant vision loss, with that number
expected to grow dramatically over the next 10 years due to an aging population.

“As Canada’s most reliable network, Rogers Wireless is proud to be a leader in offering an innovative wireless solution for our customers who are blind or have vision loss,” said John Boynton, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Rogers Communications. “The ability to communicate is of paramount importance to everyone. Now with the availability of TALKS software on the Nokia E71 from Rogers Wireless, customers with vision loss have more choice when it comes to selecting a device that best suits their needs.”

With TALKS, customers with vision loss are able to take advantage of the many features found on today’s popular mobile phones, including contact directories, caller ID, text messaging, access to the Web browser, and other screen content. Rogers’ customers can also:

– Leverage Nuance’s trusted ETI-Eloquence text-to-speech (TTS) software
to power all updated features
– Take advantage of the DAISY2GO text and audio book player to read
content from their mobile phone
– Use Quickword to retrieve email documents and attachments, and even
make edits right from the device.

“TALKS has long enabled those who are blind or living with vision loss to stay connected to friends, family and colleagues. This latest version of TALKS, now offered by Rogers, eliminates even more of the challenges posed by traditional phones, providing a productive and inspired mobile experience for all of our end users,” said Michael Thompson, senior vice president and general manager, Nuance Mobile.

“Accessible technologies play a critical role in enhancing independence for people who are blind or partially sighted, and enabling them to participate in all the parts of life they choose,” said John M. Rafferty, president and CEO of CNIB. “CNIB therefore applauds Rogers’ ongoing commitment to making this latest accessible mobile phone available in the Canadian marketplace.”

The grey Nokia E71 with TALKS software is available online or by calling 1-888-ROGERS2. The Nokia E71 retails for $99.99 on a three year voice and data term. Some conditions apply. The Nokia E71 smartphone joins the Nokia 6682RVI (launched by Rogers in 2007) in Rogers’ line-up of accessibility products.

About Rogers Wireless

Rogers Wireless provides wireless voice and data communications services across Canada to more than 8.2 million customers under both the Rogers Wireless and Fido brands. Proven to operate Canada’s fastest mobile data network as well as the most reliable network for voice with the clearest reception and fewest dropped calls, Rogers Wireless is Canada’s largest wireless provider and the only carrier operating on the global standard GSM and highly advanced HSPA technology platforms. In addition to providing seamless roaming in more than 200 countries/areas with its GSM based services, Rogers Wireless also provides wireless broadband services across Canada utilizing its 2.5GHz fixed wireless spectrum. Rogers Wireless is a subsidiary of Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX: RCI; NYSE: RCI), a diversified Canadian communications and media company. For further information, please visit www.rogers.com.

About Nuance Mobile

Nuance Mobile builds innovative, intelligent and intuitive touch and speech interfaces to simplify and enhance the way people interact with mobile devices, applications, and services. Nuance Mobile solutions make mobile devices and in-car systems easier to use, automate customer self-service, and optimize the access and discovery of even the most advanced mobile applications and content – regardless of technical know-how, location, environment, or physical and literacy capabilities.

About Nuance Communications, Inc.

Nuance is a leading provider of speech and imaging solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with information and how they create, share and use documents. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance’s proven applications and professional services. For more information, please visit: nuance.com.