Blind World Magazine

Press Release.
Nuance Accessibility Suite provides accessibility to mobile devices.

December 13, 2005.
Business Wire.

Nuance Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: NUAN), formerly known as ScanSoft and a global leader in speech and imaging solutions, today announced the Nuance(R) Accessibility Suite, a mobile accessibility solution designed to help handset users take full advantage of mobile data with direct access to on-screen content and device functionality. Through the Nuance Accessibility Suite vision-impaired and other users can benefit from much clearer and larger displays on their handheld communications devices.

Estimates show that more than 150 million people worldwide have some form of visual impairment. This makes it difficult for them to use certain devices - especially mobile phones - that have small displays and smaller font sizes. Through verbal feedback, visual enhancement, or Braille keyboard support the Nuance Accessibility Suite enhances the way in which information is displayed, enabling these individuals to access the content found within mobile devices. The Accessibility Suite comprises Nuance(R) TALKS(TM), a market-leading screen reader for the blind or severely visually impaired that converts mobile phone text into highly intelligible speech, and Nuance(R) ZOOMS(TM), a new application for users with mild to severe vision problems that magnifies the contents of mobile phone displays from 1.5 times up to 16 times.

"Today, mobile handsets are for more than just talking - you can view Web pages, send and receive text messages, and access other media content provided you can see the small screen on your phone," said Craig Peddie, vice president and general manager, Embedded Speech Solutions at Nuance. "Unfortunately, many people with low-vision, including the elderly, have not been able to benefit from these applications and devices because they cannot read the small font on their displays. Now, with the Nuance Accessibility Suite, visually impaired users can take advantage of the capabilities found on today's most sophisticated mobile handsets."

Nuance ZOOMS and Nuance TALKS can be purchased separately or bundled together to form the Nuance Accessibility Suite. All three offerings are available through a range of mobile network operators and accessibility dealers and can be installed on mobile handsets running the Symbian Series 60 operating system with no additional hardware required. In addition, the Nuance Accessibility Suite software is available in over 20 languages to bring increased accessibility and convenience to mobile handset users worldwide. Please contact a local mobile phone dealer or visit for updated lists of supported phones and languages.

Nuance ZOOMS

Users can maneuver Nuance ZOOMS as if it were a magnifying glass, moving across the screen to enlarge various elements. The portion of the screen that is enlarged depends on the users' settings and the actions that they are performing. As a user scrolls through a menu of options, Nuance ZOOMS magnifies each item. Using key commands, users easily move the magnifier to elements such as the window title, soft keys, or battery-level indicator. When the magnifier is on an object that does not fit entirely onto the screen, such as a menu item, the smart scrolling feature automatically begins to scroll through the text after a brief delay.

Nuance ZOOMS magnifies the content of the mobile handset display enabling people with a range of vision impairments to navigate through the menus and make use of all of their phone's functions. Users can jump directly to areas of interest on the phone through intelligent auto-scrolling and auto-zooming capabilities. The application's Distributed Views mode magnifies all important areas of the display at once and improves the legibility of on-screen text and graphics by allowing the user to invert color palettes, or change the display to black and white, or greyscale.

Nuance TALKS

The Nuance Accessibility Suite also includes an upgraded version of Nuance TALKS, the company's award-winning application that converts the displayed text on mobile handsets into highly intelligible speech. Nuance ZOOMS and Nuance TALKS integrate seamlessly with one another through shared key commands resulting in magnification that is synchronized with the announcement of important items on the screen.

Nuance TALKS 2.5 contains several new features including:

-- Variable Settings for Spelling Speeds and Number Read-out - allows users to set different speech rates and provides options for how numbers larger than four digits can be read

-- Echo Mode for T9 Dictionary and Passwords - enables words and the letters of a password to be spoken out loud when text is entered

-- Key and Mode Timeout - allows users to set a timeout for cases where the TALKS key is accidentally pressed and to repeat a command or even execute different commands without pressing the TALKS key again

-- Enhanced Support for Text-to-Speech - users can switch to any text-to-speech engine and language they have licensed on their device

-- Improved Braille Input/Output - facilitates instant access to Braille for blind users

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