Sorenson Communications is “the leading provider of Video Relay Service (VRS) for the Deaf”. They offer a myriad of products for individuals who are deaf such as the ntouch® VP videophone and app, Buzz apps, and more. The company’s mission is to provide the “highest quality communication products and services” to individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
Their videophones are the only videophones designed specifically for those who are deaf. Additionally, they also offer apps to improve communication on text messages and in person! Keep on reading to learn more.
Sorenson Communications has designed the ntouch® suite of products specifically for individuals who are deaf. They combined the “best features with the highest quality SVRS interpreters” so users receive an “unmatched communication experience”.
In order to use the following products, users must also apply for an SVRS Product and Service Application found here.
ntouch® VP and VP2:
The ntouch® VP “has been installed in more deaf homes than all other videophones combined!” The ntouch® VP and VP2 are the company’s popular videophones, but the VP2 is the newest upgrade. Both are noted to feature a dazzling design, remarkable clarity, and brilliant technology.
Note: The website states if users already have a ntouch VP, they do not need to apply for the VP2 upgrade. The company will contact users once it’s being installed in their area.
ntouch® VP2 Overview:
- Package includes:
- Main unit
- HDMI cable (Type A to Type D/Micro)
- Power Adapter
- 1080p resolution: optimizes video for ASL communication
- Multi-Color LightRing: VP2’s LightRing is 3x brighter and offers 8 customizable color choices so users can see and identify incoming calls before answering
- Group Call option allows users to communicate with up to 4 other SVRS customers at once
- Screensaver options: VP2 offers a selection of animated screensavers to allow users to customize what’s displayed on TV when not in use
- Bluetooth Device Support: supports use of wireless Bluetooth keyboards. Click here to view compatible devices.
- Simplified user interface: the interface has been completely redesigned to make calling experiences even better.
- View the rest of the features here.
The ntouch Desktop offers options for both Mac and PC computers. It allows users to transform their computer into a videophone for use at home, work, or anywhere there’s a high-speed internet connection.
With ntouch Mobile and ntouch Tablet, users can enjoy SVRS anytime, anywhere, even on the go! The Mobile service works with the following devices:
- iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch – download here
- Most Android phones and tablets – download here
- Amazon Fire Tablets – download here
The Sorenson Communications company also offers a couple apps to help improve both direct and indirect communication.
Sorenson BuzzStickers App:
Sorenson BuzzStickers are a fun way to stay “ntouch!” The BuzzStickers app features 15 ASL “stickers” that appear directly in iMessages. All 15 stickers are animated images of ASL signs and expressions. Examples include “jaw drop” and “I love you.”
How to install and use BuzzStickers:
- Open App Store and search for BuzzStickers.
- Tap the GET button to reveal INSTALL button, tap INSTALL.
- Go to iMessage app after installation.
- Create a new message and tap the arrow icon to the left of the text field.
- Now select the App Store icon.
- Select BuzzStickers from the options.
- Choose the desired sticker and send to your friends and family!
- Click here for illustrated instructions.
Sorenson BuzzCards App:
I mentioned the Make it Big app on Accessibility Minute a couple weeks ago. Make it Big is an app that allows users to quickly type a message and well, make it big. It’s a great tool to help individuals who are deaf communicate with those around them.
BuzzCards is very similar to Make it Big. BuzzCards mission is to simplify face-to-face communication with people who don’t know sign language. The user simply types a message and shows it to the person he or she is with.
BuzzCards lets users:
- Create and store cards ahead of time
- Make or edit cards on the fly
- Organize cards by category
- Adjust font size for maximum readability
- Cards can be organized by category (e.g. “Dining” or “Travel”)