Thursday, November 08, 2007

New devices help businesses serve deaf and HOH customers

Hat-tip to my sister who sent me this article about new devices developed by an entrepreneur to help customer service employees (clerks, receptionists, others) serve deaf and hard-of-hearing clients.

First, these devices are full of win & awesome. I would have LOVED to have access to this kind of technology when trying to buy stamps or order food or exchange an item or register at a hotel or...

My first reaction was that the price of the technologies described in the article was a little high - the Interpretype starts at $995 while a similar device with two screens and two keypads was nearly $2000 - and that surely with the technology we've developed for palm pilots and cellphone something similar could be created much more cheaply. And that may happen in time, as it does with most technologies.

I think any extra cost for the Interpretype would be wrapped up in its interface technology and software - if I understand it correctly, it gives the customer an interface with the clerk or receptionist's computer, so that the deaf customer can type on the Interpretype's keypad and the customer service person can type on their own computer. This gives the customer service person the benefit of working with files and relevant information at their fingertips, while they serve the client - and that would surely be worth $995.




Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting....Never seen it before. However, I'm sure there's a way around this one, too. The technology advances faster than we can keep up with it.

thanks for posting this for all to see....m.e.

p.s. when do you start your new job??

10:29 p.m.  
Blogger Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

The devices would be awfully expensive for individual customers to buy, but judging by the experience the auto repair place had, they're money-makers for a business to invest in - it must have paid for itself within a week and be making them a bunch of money now. Deaf customers up from 3/mo to 30?! Way cool!

1:55 p.m.  

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