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AFB  ®
Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
From the American Foundation for the Blind
 May 2000 Issue  Volume 1  Number 3

News

Merger

Henter-Joyce has merged with Blazie Engineering to form Freedom Scientific Inc., a new company offering assistive technology products for people with sensory impairments and learning disabilities. Ted Henter and Deane Blazie will serve as vice presidents of the new company. Contact: Sharon Spencer, Henter-Joyce; phone: 727-803-8000; Bryan Blazie, Blazie Engineering; phone: 410-893-9333; or Steve Leese, Freedom Scientific; phone: 760-602-5232.

Talking Orientation System

Sendero Group, Mike May's new company, released GPS Auto-Talk in April 2000. The product, based on Arkenstone's Strider, is designed for use with a talking notebook computer and consists of a talking user interface, digital maps, and a GPS antenna. The cost is $799. Contact: Beyond Sight; phone: 303-795-6455; E-mail: <Sales@BeyondSight.com>.

Acquisition

Lernout & Hauspie (L&H) recently signed a definitive agreement to acquire Dragon Systems, gaining approximately 350 employees, including 170 research scientists and development engineers. L&H expects to accelerate work on projects with handheld and mobile devices. Contact: Lernout & Hauspie; phone: 781-203-5000; Web site: <www.LHSL.com>.

Screen Reader Updates

Syntha-Voice has released Window Bridge 2000 at a pricetag of $795 each for Windows 95, 98, and NT 4.0; the full suite costs $1,195. Contact: Syntha-Voice; phone: 905-662-0565; Web site: <www.synthavoice.on.ca/>.

Window-Eyes 4.0 will soon be available from GW Micro. New features include: braille display support, support for Windows Millennium, and enhanced support for Internet Explorer 5, 5.01, and 5.5. The cost is $595. Contact: GW Micro; phone: 219-489-3671; Web site: <www.gwmicro.com>.

outSPOKEN Ensemble 3.0 is ALVA Access Group's most current screen reader with braille and speech output for Windows 98 or 95. The new features include: a multilingual speech synthesizer and compatibility with Microsoft Office 2000 and other applications. Contact: ALVA Access Group; phone: 888-318-ALVA or 510-923-6285; Web site: <www.aagi.com>.

Braille Notetaker

The BrailleNote notetaker, recently released by Pulse Data International and HumanWare, operates on Microsoft's Windows CE operating system and includes an 18- or 32-cell braille display. It includes. a POP3 E-mail package and internal modem. Contact: HumanWare; phone: 800-722-3393; Web site: <www.braillenote.com>.

Braille Displays

ALVA Access Group announced a new series of portable and desktop braille displays. Both models can be used with Windows 95, 98, and Windows NT operating systems. Contact: ALVA Access Group; phone: 888-318-ALVA or 510-923-6285; Web site: <www.aagi.com>.

Medal for Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil, chairman of Kurzweil Adaptive Technologies, received the National Medal of Technology for achievements such as developing the first print-to-speech reading machine—the Kurzweil Reading . Contact: Kurzweil Technologies; phone: 781-263-0000; Web site: <www.kurzweiltech.com>.

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