Tuesday, December 21, 2010

AT&T announces video relay service app for iPhone 4

From AT&T:

AT&T announced Dec. 21 a new video relay service (VRS) app for iPhone 4 that allows deaf and hard of hearing customers to make VRS calls. The AT&T VRS app is available today on the App Store.

AT&T VRS is a service that allows a person who uses American Sign Language (ASL) to place a relay call to a hearing person by communicating through a certified ASL interpreter. AT&T has offered video relay services to customers for many years, but the new AT&T VRS app provides a more flexible and convenient way for users to make VRS calls on the go. iPhone 4 customers can make unlimited VRS calls using the AT&T VRS app at no additional cost.

"AT&T is committed to serving the deaf and hard of hearing communities, and our new AT&T VRS app is one more way we're enhancing our offerings," said Susan Johnson, senior vice president of AT&T Customer Information Services. "Now our customers can make a VRS call at Wi-Fi hotspots using iPhone 4, which makes VRS easier and more accessible for everyone."

The AT&T VRS app is simple and easy to use. Users launch the app, log-in, and then can either choose to place a VRS call by selecting someone from their contact list or by manually dialing a number. The app contacts an AT&T ASL interpreter who then initiates a FaceTime video call with the user.** The interpreter will connect the ASL user to the hearing person they are calling, and relays the conversation between the two parties through ASL.

In addition to the app, AT&T VRS also offers a free software download called AT&T Video Link that turns a computer or laptop into a video phone. This software works on certain Macs and PCs enabled with a web cam and a broadband connection.

AT&T VRS will also provide users with a ten-digit telephone number and supports all the FCC required 911 emergency capabilities.

The AT&T VRS app is available for free from the App Store on iPhone or at www.itunes.com/appstore/.