New Verizon Wireless app assists visually-impaired

The carrier's Talks will read messages and e-mail on the Motorola Q9c.

Verizon Wireless this week announced a new service for blind and visually impaired customers. Talks will convert displayed text into speech for a variety of features including phone numbers on caller ID, text messages, e-mail, and notes. Using their voice, Talks users also will be able to:

  • Dial a number from the phone's Contacts directory
  • Add and edit entries in the Contacts directory
  • Write text messages and e-mail
  • Write documents using Mobile Office
  • Access and compose multimedia message service (MMS) messages
  • Use Mobile Internet Explorer to access the Internet
  • Control speech volume and rate of speech

Initially Talks will be available only on the Motorola Q9c. A new Q9c with Talks will go on sale Sunday, March 15 for $249 with a service agreement, but existing Q9c users will be able to add Talks to their phone by contacting Verizon. Talks is powered by Nuance Communications.

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