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Ultratec Announces New IP-Based Captioned Telephone Option

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Ultratec, Inc. today announced the new CapTel 800i telephone – the latest addition to the company’s Captioned Telephone line of products and services that help people with hearing loss use the phone. Designed specifically for use with high-speed Internet service, the CapTel 800i gives people the advantage of written text captions to help understand what their phone callers say.

Unlike previous CapTel models which rely on only an analog telephone line, the new CapTel 800i connects to both a telephone line and an Ethernet / IP connection. The telephone line carries the voice portion of the call, in the same way as any other typical telephone conversation. At the same time, the Ethernet / IP connection automatically links the CapTel 800i over the Internet to the CapTel Captioning Service. Operators at the Captioning Service use voice-recognition technology to transcribe everything the caller says into text, which is instantly transmitted to the CapTel 800i over the Internet connection. The captions appear on the phone’s display screen, giving users the ability to hear what they can of the phone conversation and read what they need to in the display screen.

This seamless, behind-the-scenes connection to the Internet automatically gives CapTel 800i users captions on any call – incoming or outgoing. Captions can be turned on or off at any time during the call, so they are available to help clarify things whenever the user has difficulty hearing what a caller says.

The new CapTel 800i requires both telephone service and high-speed or broadband Internet access. The telephone connection can be any telephone service, including standard analog line, VOIP connection, DSL, or cable modem telephone service (an analog port is required for use with a digital PBX). The Ethernet connection can be any basic broadband Internet service (it does not work with dial-up connections). People who do not already have Internet access should consider the CapTel 200, an alternative that relies on standard analog telephone lines instead of an Internet connection.

The new phone is expected to be available later this summer.