LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwire - Jan 8, 2013) - Clarity -- a division of Plantronics (NYSE: PLT) -- and ClearCaptions have joined together to launch Ensemble, a first-of-its-kind amplified phone that allows individuals with hearing loss to read conversations as well as hear them.
Through a seven-inch tablet-based display, Ensemble captions conversations in real time while also amplifying incoming sound up to 50 decibels. It provides both precise text and clear voice to create the most accurate phone conversation possible -- a breakthrough moment -- for the 36 million Americans with hearing loss.
"Ensemble is breaking new ground on sight and sound," said Carsten Trads, president of Clarity. "Not only is it loud and clear, but it's the first to deliver captions through a tablet display. We've brought together the latest in technology to provide the hearing loss community with a phone that is carefully designed for their needs. Ensemble can be life changing for millions of people who want to enjoy phone conversations again, reconnect with loved ones or stay engaged in the world."
When an individual places or receives a call on Ensemble, the other party's words are transcribed through ClearCaptions, a Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-certified telephone-captioning service that is similar to closed captions for television. As the user listens, captions appear on Ensemble's touchscreen display in a large, easy-to-read font that can be enlarged or adjusted with the swipe of a finger.
Simultaneously, Ensemble amplifies incoming voice to improve hearing and create the greatest possible experience for the user. It features a patented digital sound processing technology that functions like a hearing aid to make soft sounds audible and keep loud sounds in a comfortable range. Users can adjust the tone or amplification settings to customize Ensemble to their unique degree of hearing loss.
"As a leading provider of communications services for people with hearing loss, we know there is a growing and unmet need for Ensemble," said John Ferron, CEO of Purple Communications, Inc., provider of the ClearCaptions service. "Time and again, we've heard how captions take the frustration out of using the phone. Ensemble brings the best of both worlds -- Clarity's best-in-class amplification with our popular ClearCaptions service -- to offer a phone unlike anything the millions impacted by hearing loss have experienced."
With its intuitive touchscreen interface, Ensemble is simple to set up and use. Its on-screen dial pad is scalable to make calling easier for users with low vision or dexterity challenges.
Ensemble is also equipped with ClarityLogic™, an award-winning customer service technology that allows customer service representatives to remotely access the phone and make adjustments for the user. Clarity representatives can adjust Ensemble's volume or tweak the tone control on the user's behalf.
Ensemble can be purchased for $229 and comes with a limited one-year warranty. It is the result of an exclusive partnership between Clarity and ClearCaptions. Clarity will feature Ensemble at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV. For more information on Clarity, visit www.clarityproducts.com.
About Clarity -- Smart for Seniors™
Clarity, a division of Plantronics (NYSE: PLT), creates smart communication solutions that help seniors live richer, more engaged lives. For more than 40 years, Clarity's innovative products -- such as amplified telephones, notification systems and assistive listening devices -- have helped people with hearing loss, low vision, limited mobility, dexterity issues and other health challenges. Clarity has pioneered many firsts -- from digital sound processing in 2005 to remote-access customer service in 2010. Millions rely on Clarity to communicate at home, at work and throughout their lives. For more information, please visit www.clarityproducts.com or call 1-800-426-3738.
About ClearCaptions -- Get the whole conversation™
ClearCaptions is an advanced telephone captioning service created by Purple Communications, Inc. Purple is a leading provider of video relay and text relay services, on-site interpreting services and video remote interpreting. Offering a wide array of options designed to meet the varied communication needs of businesses and customers, ClearCaptions' vision is to enable free-flowing communication between people, inclusive of the differences in abilities, languages or locations. For more information on ClearCaptions, visit www.clearcaptions.com.