Purple Communications Unveils SmartVP, Game-Changing Communications Platform
for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Individuals
Purple Transforms Antiquated Videophone Technology; SmartVP Is First
With HD Quality, Integration of Applications; Dramatic,
Innovation-Driven Shift for Deaf Community
ROCKLIN, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/02/13 -- Purple Communications,
Inc. today unveiled SmartVP -- a videophone that combines the latest
in technology on an intuitive platform with a wide array of smart
applications and features that will transform how deaf and
hard-of-hearing individuals communicate.
As the first videophone to feature true HD quality and a range of
other smart features, SmartVP provides users with crisp, clear and
almost life-like video conversations through their televisions. By
simply pressing one button on the SmartVP remote, users can make a
call using video relay service (VRS), allowing deaf and
hard-of-hearing individuals to connect directly with each other or
communicate with hearing people in real-time via American Sign
Language (ASL) interpreters.
Purple partnered with Tely Labs, to develop SmartVP. Based on the
award-winning telyHD(TM) video calling device, SmartVP was built on
the Android operating system and features an HD camera with a
wide-angle lens that can send and receive video up to 720P HD from
one SmartVP to another. "We are very proud to partner with Purple on
the SmartVP to deliver HD video communications to the deaf and hard
of hearing in a way that's fun and easy to use," said Sreekanth Ravi,
president and CEO of Tely Labs.
With a phased approach, Purple will rollout SmartVP market-by-market
using a one-on-one installation process to ensure customer service
and quality. For more information on SmartVP, visit
"The deaf community has a history of embracing new technologies that
improve the quality and flexibility of their communications. Today,
we're excited to begin unveiling SmartVP as the next-generation of
video communications for people who are deaf or hard of hearing,"
said John Ferron, Purple's president and chief executive officer.
"We've been delighted with early feedback from our customers and how
impressed they are with the functionality and ease of use of SmartVP
when compared to other options in the market. We're excited to begin
sharing SmartVP with customers as we begin our regional rollout."
SmartVP is the first videophone to feature applications. Through
SmartVP's sleek, transparent interface, users can access the apps at
any time, even during a call. They can check out select YouTube
channels, stay up-to-date on weather, order pizza through an
exclusive Yellow Pages(R) app, or find the closest show times for
captioned movies through the Captionfish app. The platform is also
equipped with a full deaf movie library.
SmartVP includes two 360 degree bright flashers and is compatible
with Sonic Alert(R) so users never miss incoming calls, even when in
Katie Leclerc, actress in the ABC Family drama Switched at Birth and
Purple's new spokesperson, will work closely with the company to
inform deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals about SmartVP. Leclerc,
who suffers from a genetic inner ear disorder called Meniere's
disease, is ASL-fluent.
"I'm so proud to be working with Purple and see their authentic
commitment to getting their products just right for customers," said
Leclerc. "SmartVP is an amazing videophone and besides all the
wonderfully unique features for the deaf consumer, it's also just
very cool! I know my deaf friends will definitely want one as soon as
it comes to their area!"
"Our goal at Purple is to deliver an exceptional video relay service
experience for our customers on any screen they want to use; PC,
laptop, tablet, smartphone or TV. SmartVP fulfills our five-screen
strategy and goes well beyond simply allowing customers to make video
calls from their televisions," said Tony La Rosa, Purple's chief
technology officer. "The inclusion of relevant applications and
features that make calling easier, including 911 emergency services,
set SmartVP far apart from competitive options in the market today
and give us a platform that is rich for further innovations."
Other SmartVP innovations include:
-- Yellow Pages: Look up local businesses and then save the phone number
to the contact list or instantly call the number directly on the
-- Single phone number: SmartVP and all Purple products use a single
phone number, allowing users to be reached on the same number at home,
at work or on-the-go. Other VRS providers require separate numbers for
-- Powerful remote control: With one touch, users can begin a phone call
from anywhere in the room thanks to a powerful yet easy-to-use
-- Entertainment center and apps: Smartphones go beyond simply making a
call by incorporating apps and entertainment. SmartVP will become
integral to customers' lives with powerful apps, such as Yellow Pages,
a deaf video center, YouTube channels, local weather and the ability
to search the latest playing captioned movies using Captionfish.
-- Simplified contact lists: Contact lists are shared across multiple
devices and the contact information can be updated online -- both
firsts for VRS users. Users can save up to five numbers for one
contact. Rather than arduously scrolling, users can type the area code
to locate a number or add friends and family they call the most to a
favorite contacts list immediately shown when signed on. Plus,
contacts can be pulled up while on the call.
-- PurpleMail: SmartVP features PurpleMail(TM) -- a message system that
allows users to have a personal outgoing message in ASL and receive
messages from callers in ASL.
-- Text chat: During the call, the ASL interpreter can type out important
information, such as addresses or phone numbers, from the hearing
caller which can then be sent to the user's email. Similarly, the deaf
party can type out information for the interpreter to relay to the
hearing caller. To ensure privacy, the text chat is subsequently
erased from the interpreter's screen.
-- Multiple users: Multiple users, such as spouses, roommates or family
members, can easily switch back and forth between accounts without
logging out. For privacy, a personal identification number (PIN) can
be set to limit access.
-- Voice carry over (VCO): Built-in speakers and microphones for voice
carry over (VCO) allow a deaf individual who prefers to use his/her
own voice when making a call to speak directly to the caller.
About Purple Communications, Inc.
Purple Communications provides a
high-quality video relay service (VRS) available from multiple
platforms -- TV, desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone. VRS is a
free service for deaf and hard-of-hearing customers who use sign
language to communicate via video conference and a video interpreter
(VI). The VI voices/relays the signed conversation in real-time to
both deaf and hearing individuals.
Purple's portfolio of solutions spans across telephone captioning
services, text relay services, on-site interpreting services and
video relay interpreting (VRI) delivering a wide array of options to
meet the varied communication needs of businesses and customers,
collectively make communicating with both the deaf world and the
hearing world accessible to all. For more information, visit
About Katie Leclerc
Leclerc can currently be seen in the role of
Daphne Vasquez on ABC Family's Switched at Birth, which premiered in
summer 2011 and will start its summer season June 10, 2013. You can
read her full biography at http://www.katieleclerc.com/.
About Tely Labs
Tely Labs, a Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA)-backed venture
company was founded in 2010 by the successful entrepreneurial team of
Sreekanth Ravi (President and CEO) and Sudhakar Ravi (CTO). Tely Labs
is a pioneer in simple, secure and affordable video communication and
collaboration systems that fundamentally change the way people
communicate. The company's products are used extensively in
enterprise conference rooms, remote offices, SMBs and healthcare
facilities worldwide. For more information on Tely Labs, visit
About Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS)
Created by the
Americans with Disabilities Act, Telecommunication Relay Service
(TRS) is a telephone service that allows persons with hearing or
speech disabilities to place and receive telephone calls. There are a
variety of types of relay service including video (VRS), text and
captioning services. TRS is available in all 50 states, the District
of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories for local and/or
long distance calls at no additional cost to the consumer. The
Telecommunications Relay Services program is regulated by the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) and providers of such services are
compensated for the costs of providing TRS from either a state or a
federal fund. For more information related to TRS, visit
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