Seventy-million people across the globe are deaf. If you are deaf, you should consider investing in one of the many voice-to-text devices. If you know a loved one who could benefit from such a device, there are several devices to choose from.
Text Phone Devices
This device has two main components, a keyboard and monitor. A user enters text via the keyboard which is translated into voice for the other person. Some of these text phones now include voice recognition software which translates anything the person says on the other end into readable text for the deaf person. Other features could include a call-indicator light that flashes when someone is phoning; the ability to record the conversation in audio or transcribed text; and the ability to send instant text messages.
Of primary use to the deaf user, a BlackBerry allows callers to leave a message in the device's voicemail, which is then converted into readable text. Many people like this option as the screen is clearer and easier to read. A BlackBerry also has instant email delivery and vibrating alerts.
For those who have a regular phone line, Nuance Communications offers a service that converts any voicemail messages into text. Jott Voicemail will then send the text version as an email or instant message to your cell phone.
Another product by Nuance Communications is Dragon Naturally Speaking. Once installed on a small laptop, it uses the computer's microphone (or an external microphone) to convert every recorded word into text. This software is ideal for seminars that people with hearing difficulties may otherwise miss out on. This software can also be installed on the iPhone or BlackBerry.