Viable unveils first WiFi-enabled, portable videophone designed for deaf and hard of hearing persons who use video relay services

Rockville 05 January 2008Viable Inc., a provider of video relay services (VRS) for deaf and hard of hearing, unveiled the VPAD, its WiFi-enabled, portable videophone, at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The VPAD is the first WiFi-enabled videophone developed specifically for VRS users.

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"The VPAD signals a higher technology standard. Beginning today, VRS users will expect more from their videophones", stated Viable CEO and founder John T.C. Yeh.

The VPAD features a 10,2-inch touch screen and does not require a remote control. It also comes with a USB port, audio/video input and output ports, standardized mounting, and a visual and audio alerts system. In idle mode, the VPAD can function as a digital picture frame.

"The CES is internationally synonymous with product launches. The VCR debuted there in the 1970s; the camcorder in the 1980s; and the CD, DVD and HDTV in the 1990s. We wanted our videophone to be part of that tradition of innovation", stated Anthony Mowl, who will manage the nationwide VPAD roll-out. "The videophone will undergo testing with a limited pool of beta testers before full-scale distribution."

Viable provides next-generation video relay services for deaf and hard of hearing persons that can be accessed wherever there is Internet or wireless connectivity, opening them to a world of communication possibilities. Founded in 2006, Viable is a private, deaf-owned company, and the majority of its employees are deaf and hard of hearing and are personally vested in the innovation and development of the company's products and services.

Mandated by Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, telecommunications relay services (TRS) enables individuals with hearing or speech disabilities to achieve functional equivalence by accessing telephone systems to place or receive calls through an intermediary known as a relay operator or relay interpreter. Emergent IP technology has given rise to video-based solutions, which are known as video relay services (VRS). VRS options include using a webcam or a videophone to connect to a video relay interpreter, and allow deaf and hard of hearing callers for whom sign language is native to fully achieve the ideal of functional equivalence.


Leslie Versweyveld

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