Simplified phone calling for the disabled Sep 5, 2002 – By ArialPhone Staff Writer
ArialPhone Corp., of Mundelein, IL., has introduced a new wearable, wireless
communications device designed specifically to make phone calling more
convenient for quadriplegics, paraplegics, Parkinson's disease patients and
others with limited mobility. The new device is a hands-free, voice-activated
telephone communications product.
The ArialPhone system comes packaged with add-on software that gives users
the ability to use the device as a wireless microphone for Internet calling
and other applications that accept microphone input, including speech
recognition software such as Dragon Systems' Naturally Speaking and IBM's
Place Calls Through Simple Voice Commands
ArialPhone facilitates telephone communications for the disabled community by
allowing users to place phone calls simply by saying a person's name or phone
number. This is accomplished through a patented, hands-free Earset design
that leverages voice recognition technology and works in conjunction with the
user's existing PC.
For easy operation, ArialPhone is set up to accept wiring for a wide variety
of external switches designed for disabled users, including pillow switches,
sensitive switches, soft switches and strong switches. The product enables
users to perform automated functions such as voice dialing by name, answering
calls, and other telephone operations from anywhere in the home or office.
"ArialPhone introduces a new level of phone calling convenience to the
disabled community, with both features and pricing that are far better than
other solutions on the market," said Mike Wagener, President of ArialPhone
Corp. "Although the first applications are based around telephone
communications, future applications will enable voice control of digital
entertainment and other home automation functions, such as changing TV
channels; recording TV programs; controlling digital music players, set top
boxes and cable modems; and even turning lights off and on."
Easy, Comfortable Operation
ArialPhone consists of a 1 oz. wearable Earset, voice-dialing software and a
base station, which is attached to both a PC and an analog phone line.
Operation is simple: the user activates the external switch of their choice
to alert the ArialPhone base station to listen for voice commands, such as
"call John Smith at work." These commands prompt ArialPhone to access the
user's PC contact management directory, and then place calls as directed.
In contrast to many bulky over-the-head phone headsets, ArialPhone's sleek,
lightweight Earset attaches easily to the ear via a comfortable,
ergonomically designed hook that can be worn all day. And while many wireless
devices used in the home or office have a limited range and poor voice
quality, ArialPhone offers top-quality communications within a 150-ft. to
300-ft. range - even through walls.
Easy "Out of the Box" Installation and Functionality
ArialPhone requires no customization and is ready to use "out of the box".
Incorporating speaker-independent voice recognition technology, it enables
the use of intuitive and natural language-based commands, eliminating the
need for any voice training prior to operation. The device accesses
PC-resident contact management systems, such as ACT!, Outlook and Outlook
Express, via a dynamic interface.
Installation is simple: the base station connects with the user's PC via a
Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface, and with the telephone system through a
standard phone jack. The Earset communicates with the base station via a
900MHz digital spread spectrum radio frequency link.
Innovative Battery Design
ArialPhone Corp. is currently developing an external battery attachment that
will provide up to 12 hours of "talk time" for ArialPhone. The standard
battery system now available consists of a single, rechargeable lithium ion
polymer battery that provides a "talk time" of two-to-three hours. The
recharge time is approximately two hours. The base station has two charging
slots and comes with two batteries, so there will always be a fully charged
battery available to allow an infinite amount of "talk time". If the battery
runs low during a phone conversation, the Earset will generate an alert. The
phone connection will be held while the user replaces the battery. The simple
battery exchange process takes only seconds.
Pricing and Availability
Priced at $399, the specialized version of ArialPhone designed for the
disabled market is now available and can be purchased through leading
assistive technologies dealers across the country or directly from the
company. The pricing includes the complete system with base station, Earset
and voice-dialing software, along with accommodations for easily attaching
external switches. Also included is ArialPhone's wireless microphone
ArialPhone Corp., launched in January 2001, is a provider of wireless
communications devices and voice-enabling software applications. The
company's flagship product, ArialPhone, combines wireless and voice
recognition technology in a sleek, patented Earset design that improves
standard telephone calling processes while also allowing wireless voice
computer input for dictation, Internet calling, and other third party voice
recognition functions. It can be integrated with the most popular digital
PBXs, and now supports an expanded group of contact management systems such
as ACT!, Outlook and Outlook Express. Privately held, ArialPhone Corp. is
headquartered near Chicago in Mundelein, Ill. For more information, please
visit www.arialphone.com, or contact the company's headquarters at 104
Terrace Dr., Mundelein, Ill. 60060. Phone: 847-949-3173. E-mail: