IM this article to a friend!

April 22, 2003

Sorenson Media Launches Sorenson Video Relay Service -- VRS -- to Facilitate Instantaneous Communication for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Community

From: Business Wire (press release)  - Apr 22, 2003

Business Editors/High-Tech Writers


Sorenson VRS, which Integrates with the Sorenson VP-100 Videophone and
Sorenson EnVision SL Software, Relays Unmatched Video Image Quality

Sorenson Media(TM) today announced Sorenson VRS(TM), a free video relay service for the 28 million deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans. Once a Sorenson VRS account has been established at , both deaf and hard-of-hearing users can place video relay calls to family, friends, and business associates through a certified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter and broadband Internet connection. The call is placed using the Sorenson VP-100(TM) videophone appliance and a TV or using a personal computer with Sorenson EnVision(R) SL video relay software or Microsoft(R) NetMeeting(R) and a Web camera.

The Sorenson VRS Call Center intelligently routes the incoming video relay calls to an available ASL interpreter, who has been professionally trained to handle the calls. The interpreter then contacts the hearing user via a standard phone line and relays the conversation between the two parties. Sorenson VRS captures the facial expressions, gestures, and emotions that are so vital in sign language communication. Dialog flows instantaneously between callers making it possible to communicate easily and as naturally as possible. Likewise, hearing users can call 866/FAST-VRS toll free to place video relay calls to deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals.

Sorenson VRS exclusively uses the Sorenson VP-100 and Sorenson EnVision SL, which eliminate grainy images, jerky playback, or complex technology to install. Also, unlike older text-based communication devices, like Text Telephone (TTY) where people who are deaf or hard of hearing must type their responses, Sorenson VRS facilitates real-time communication, allowing for quicker responses between the hearing and the deaf or hard-of-hearing users.

Using Sorenson VRS, deaf and hard-of-hearing users not only benefit from communicating directly in sign language, they also know for certain that the full meaning of their signed conversation, which incorporates the use of hands as well as facial expression, is being conveyed completely and accurately.

"With Sorenson VRS I am able to quickly and effectively make relay calls to my friends, family, colleagues, or anyone else," said Jeff Pollock, coordinator of deaf services at University of Utah. "I no longer have to worry about jerky and blurred pictures from inferior video relay systems. Plus, by seeing the relay interpreter, I know that my mood and emotions, as well as those of the person I am calling, are being effectively communicated. This is not possible with traditional TTY relay systems. Sorenson VRS has broken down the barriers that have previously been associated with e-mail, TTY relay, and video relay calls."

"Sorenson Media is pleased to make our video relay service available to so many deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals," said James L. Sorenson Jr., CEO of Sorenson Media. "Our goal was to create a reliable service, which leverages our relay and video compression solutions to deliver the highest quality video images. Sorenson VRS now enables millions of people, who traditionally have been limited by slower and more restrictive methods of communication, to communicate fluidly with the hearing world at a minute's notice."

About Sorenson VRS

As a service to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, Sorenson Media developed the Sorenson Video Relay Service (VRS), an exclusive integrated solution of videophones and video relay software that offers the highest quality video relay service in the nation. In partnership with Gallaudet University Interpreting Services, the deaf and hard of hearing are able to conveniently place video relay calls to anyone through the Sorenson VP-100 videophone, Sorenson EnVision SL video relay software, or Microsoft NetMeeting. Hearing users who want to place a video relay call through a standard telephone line to a deaf or hard-of-hearing user can access Sorenson VRS by calling toll free 866/FAST-VRS or 866/327-8877 and giving the contact information (i.e., name, videophone number, or IP address) to the video relay interpreter. Sorenson VRS takes care of the rest by routing the call with the user's preferences through the Sorenson VRS Call Center to a certified interpreting agent. For more details on Sorenson VRS, please visit .

About Sorenson Media

Sorenson Media ( ) is the recognized leader in video compression, video communication technology, and video services to improve the quality of communication over the Internet. With its innovative compression applications and award-winning video delivery solutions, Sorenson Media enables users to easily compress digital video into significantly smaller file sizes so that high-quality video can be affordably delivered.

(C) 2003 Sorenson Media. All products and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.


CONTACT: Sorenson Media Inc., Salt Lake City
Diana Johnson, 801/287-9400 KEYWORD: UTAH
SOURCE: Sorenson Media