VerbaVoice

New service for the hearing-impaired: O2 brings VerbaVoice transcription service to mobile phones

MUNICH/GRANADA. VerbaVoice GmbH in cooperation with Telefónica O2 Germany has launched a transcription service to help the hearing-impaired to enjoy easier access to information and methods of communication. The service can be used on mobile phones this year thanks to the VerbaVoice mobile app.
The development of a mobile application means the transcription service is now available on the move. Hearing-impaired customers thus enjoy more flexibility and can read along on their mobiles in almost real time as conversations take place with a doctor or the authorities. The new mobile application complements the services that were already available via a computer or laptop. The transcription service can be called up using an internet-enabled mobile with the Android operating system. Customers of the O2 tariff for hearing-impaired can download the app for free. The special offer is based on the O2 o tariff and gives hearing-impaired a 15 percent discount on their entire monthly bill. Furthermore Telefónica O2 Germany has created an online shop for people with hearing difficulties (http://www.o2.de/hoergeschaedigte) with explanatory videos in sign language and a chat hotline.
André Krause, Managing Director Finance and Board Sponsor for Corporate Responsibility at Telefónica O2 Germany explains: "As a telecommunications provider it is important to us to be able to offer products to people with particular requirements. VerbaVoice is an important step in this direction. With innovative technologies and services we want to enable the hearing-impaired to deal with everyday situations without any barriers, and to simplify communication between hearing and hearing-impaired people."
Michaela Nachtrab, Managing Director of VerbaVoice GmbH adds: "VerbaVoice has already been proven in practice. A number of hearing-impaired young people can already take part actively in lessons at regular schools, following the discussion on their laptop screens. With the mobile application using this service becomes even more flexible - it's a pocket-sized transcription service! In O2 we have found an extremely competent and committed partner for this."
And this is how the written interpretation service works VerbaVoice converts speech into written text through a transcriber. Hearing-impaired people can read along with what is said in near real time and thus take part actively in what is going on. The speech is transferred to a computer via a microphone. It is then sent to a transcriber over the internet. The transcriber produces a text and sends this through the system back to the screen. The cost of the transcription service (around 50-75 Euros per hour) is generally covered by public bodies such as health insurance schemes or local authorities. Further information is available at: http://www.verbavoice.de. The customer must cover the cost of the Internet connection, but here O2 offers special discounted rates for the hearing-impaired target group according to their requirements. Further information and details on the offer are available at: www.o2.de/hoergeschaedigte.
Telefónica O2 Germany GmbH & Co. OHG belongs to Telefónica Europe and is part of the Spanish telecommunication group Telefónica S.A. The Company offers its German private and business customers postpaid and prepaid mobile telecom products as well as innovative mobile data services based on the GPRS and UMTS technologies. In addition, the integrated communications provider also offers DSL fixed network telephony and high-speed internet. Telefónica Europe has about 55 million mobile and fixed network customers in Great Britain, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany.

Further information

Telefónica O2 Germany Press Relations VerbaVoice GmbH Michaela Nachtrab Stefan-George-Ring 23 81929 München t +49 (89) 88 98 56 51 f +49 (89) 88 98 56 52