Maestro, the First Mainstream PDA for Blind People, Now Shipping!
Montreal, November 15, 2004 -- VisuAide wishes to announce that Maestro, the first mainstream pocket computer accessible to the blind and visually impaired, is now available in English. Greatly anticipated since it was first unveiled in June, Maestro is the smallest and least expensive information access tool competing in the market for notetakers and other personal aides for the visually impaired.
Maestro is an HP iPAQ Pocket PC made accessible by VisuAide using text-to-speech technology and a tactile keyboard membrane over the PDA touch screen. Now, the visually impaired can enjoy the ultra-compact size of a real PDA and essential information-access functionality: text and vocal note taking, agenda, contact directory, etc. Maestro allows Braille input using either the tactile keyboard on the unit for brief notes, or an external Braille keyboard for extensive note taking. The visually impaired can benefit from the same applications than sighted users without handling a stylus.
The system readily integrates third-party or other VisuAide applications, such as Trekker, a GPS orientation system, and Victor Reader, a digital talking-book player (DAISY format).
As a mass-market product, Maestro can evolve in price, power and connectivity at the same rate as electronics for the sighted. Users can benefit from the latest innovations in the PDA market much earlier and at a lower price.
Maestro is the most affordable and compact personal information-management and communication system available to the visually impaired. "VisuAide's objective was to provide users with a low-cost, highly portable mobile-computing solution," said Gilles Pepin, president of VisuAide. "We often compare Maestro to the famous Swiss Army knife. It has a full range of tools in a ultra-compact size."
Pricing and availability Maestro is being offered at a special launch price of US$995 until the end of February 2005. Currently available only in English, more languages will be added early in 2005. The English version of Maestro can be obtained from our local distributors.
About VisuAide VisuAide (www.visuaide.com) is the leading innovator in high-tech solutions for the blind and visually impaired. The company now employs 90 people in Canada and operates one of the largest R&D departments in the field. VisuAide is the world leader in digital audio book solutions for the print disabled. It develops and manufactures the Victor Reader line of hardware and software audio players. The company also manufactures Trekker, a GPS-based orientation and mobility product for the visually impaired. VisuAide is the largest distributor of computer aids for the visually disabled in Canada.