Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Press Releases: Humanware Video Magnifiers And the VRS

I’m cleaning out my inbox from my time out for convention. Below is the release for the new Humanware Video Magnifiers and the Victor Reader Stream 2.0 features.. when the final release is posted again of course. You may see a few more press releases in another post today or tomorrow on various products as well. For now here is the info from Humanware.

Longueuil, Quebec, July 7, 2008 – HumanWare expands its low vision product line with the announcement of four new video magnifiers at Vision 2008, an international conference on low vision being held in Montreal this week. With these new products, HumanWare is better able to serve the needs of the growing number of people with low vision – those whose vision cannot be completely corrected even with the most powerful prescription glasses.

HumanWare's new video magnifiers are designed to meet the needs of different environments and applications. Each product offers unique features to improve the user's independence.

The new products include:
SmartView Pocket. an extremely lightweight handheld video magnifier that can be used in the home or around town, wherever things are too small to see. Large, intuitive buttons make the unit easy to use. The Pocket provides up to 9x magnification on its 3.6-inch LCD screen.

SmartView Graduate. Ideally suited for helping low vision students fully participate in class by being able to see across the room and magnify items on their desk. The Graduate connects to a notebook computer via a USB interface to provide up to 50x magnification on the computer screen. The camera turns to view the desktop or distant objects. The unit easily fits into a computer bag and weighs only 2.5 pounds, which makes it extremely easy to carry between classes.

SmartView Nano. The smallest video magnifier available at a very affordable price. The Nano magnifies objects from 5x to 20x, making it easy to read fine print on pill bottles, ingredients on product labels, or seat numbers on theater tickets.

SmartView Mobile. A portable video magnifier with a 7-inch screen, providing up to 18x magnification. The Mobile is ideal for those who need a portable device but cannot compromise on magnification and screen size. Perfect for taking to the library, carrying around home or using at the office.

"With these new products, HumanWare has significantly increased its offering of portable devices," explains Ted Judge, Product Manager. "Users want to be able to read regular or small print wherever they are, and these new additions to the SmartView family help people see and read, whether at home, the store, the office, or out on the town."
The SmartView Graduate and Smartview Pocket video magnifiers are available now, and the SmartView Nano will be available at the end of July. The SmartView Mobile will be available in Europe and Asia in August.

About HumanWare

HumanWare is the global leader in assistive technologies for the print disabled. HumanWare provides products to people who are blind or have low vision, and persons/or individuals with learning disabilities. HumanWare offers a collection of innovative products, including BrailleNote, the leading productivity device for the blind in education, business, and for personal use; the Victor Reader product line, the world's leading digital audiobook players; myReader2, HumanWare's unique "auto-reader" for people with low vision; and the ClassMate Reader, the only portable book player to offer synchronized text and audio for individuals.

For more information about these products please visit:

or contact us:

Call toll free: 1 888 723-7273

Tel: +44 1933 415 800

Tel: +61 2 9686 2600

Call toll free 1 800 722-3393 or 925 680-7100

Media contact:
Nicolas Lagace
Tel.: 450 463-1717


Longueuil, Canada, June 30, 2008 -- Victor Reader Stream, the pocket-sized portable MP3 player designed for blind and low-vision people has swept the world wide market place since its launch in September 2007. Heralded by its users as the most significant assistive technology in recent years, the Stream has already enhanced the life style of thousands of blind and low vision people world wide. In addition to the variety of audio formats (MP3, DAISY, and NISO books and music) supported by Victor Reader Stream, the new version 2 software will add even more media and text formats.

Victor Reader Stream version 2 will now play electronic Braille files with its built-in text-to-speech including multiple formats of English Braille encoded files, Unified English Braille, and non-English Braille formats. Version 2.0 also adds playback of Windows Media Audio (WMA) and Rich Text Format (RTF) files. , Further, the bookshelf feature has been extended to enhance the access and playback of all media types with special new features for Audible books, Podcast files, and music.

With the addition of the new media types of version 2.0 the Stream now provides a pocket size device that can play an impressive list of alternate format books and documents available to the print-disabled. IT will play the special navigable DAISY and NISO digital talking books produced by most libraries for the blind in the world. It can be authorized to play the AudioPlus digital books from Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D) in the United States. It can play digital books. It can be authorized to play the popular commercial audio books, newspapers, and magazines from It is optimized to integrate with who provide an extensive repository of digital multi-media content for blind and low vision people. It also plays MP3,, OGG Vorbis, WMA, Wav, AMR-WB+, SPX, and FLAC audio files. The built-in text-to-speech can play electronic text formats including BRF (Braille), HTML, RTF, TXT, and XML. In addition to its extensive digital player capabilities, it has a voice recording functionality for recording of voice notes, meetings, and lectures.

What Stream customers are saying:
"I love my Victor Reader Stream and it travels with me wherever I go."
"This is one of the best products I have seen come along in a long time. It is well made, works right out of the box, and reads just about any kind of book you need read."
"It's one of the most impressive and well-planned and well-working pieces of equipment I have seen for a long time."

"We appreciate the overwhelming enthusiasm of our customers and are pleased that we have been able to incorporate many of their suggested new features and improvements in the enhanced version 2 of the Stream", says Gerry Chevalier, HumanWare Victor Reader Product Manager. "And the best news is that the latest version 2 software can be installed for free on all existing Victor Reader Streams."

The Stream has extensive navigation features for moving through audio books and text files, including functions that allow you to move to the next chapter, section or page, or to set bookmarks. For all audio book and media formats the Stream provides a variable speed control with digital pitch correction which allows the reader to accurately listen at higher than normal playback speed.

The player is completely accessible by blind and low-vision users. All keys and messages are provided through audio feedback. The player has a built-in User Guide and a Key Describer mode.

Besides playing electronic text, the integrated text-to-speech voice announces the track names of music files. It uses an SD memory card to store books and music transferred from a computer.

Victor Reader Stream can be purchased online at (in USA). Current Victor Reader Stream users can upgrade their player to software version 2.0 online at

About HumanWare

HumanWare ( is the global leader in assistive technologies for the print disabled. HumanWare provides products to people who are blind and have low vision and students with learning disabilities. HumanWare offers a collection of innovative products include BrailleNote, the leading productivity device for the blind in education, business and for personal use; the Victor Reader product line, the world's leading digital audiobook players, and SmartView Xtend, the first fully modular and upgradeable CCTV-based video magnifier.

For more information:

Nicolas Lagace
Tel.: (450) 463-1717

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