[guispeak] Fwd: [notetakers] HumanWare Announces BrailleNote mPower

  • From: Andy Baracco <wq6r@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2005 21:57:45 -0700


HumanWare, the world leader in information technology for the blind and visually impaired, is proud to announce BrailleNote mPower and VoiceNote mPower, the next generation of the BrailleNote family of products.

Shipping immediately, BrailleNote mPower is available in 18 and 32 cell
versions, with Braille or QWERTY keyboards.  VoiceNote mPower is also
available with a Braille or QWERTY keyboard.  With state-of-the-art
connectivity, BrailleNote mPower provides the functionality and ease of use
required by today's blind students, professionals, and anyone who needs to
access information anywhere with efficiency.

Key new features include:

* expanded on-board storage
* USB host and client
*  great quality stereo sound
* streaming media
* audio recorder
* built-in Bluetooth
* and a fast Intel X-scale processor.

Expanded On board Storage. The previous generation of BrailleNote offered 16 megabytes of user storage by default, expandable to 48 MB. BrailleNote mPower allows you to take more information and entertainment with you without even needing a storage card, thanks to its 128 MB flash disk. Because your data is precious, our disk on chip technology means that your data is preserved, even if the battery goes completely flat.

SD Card Support.

Secure Digital cards are becoming increasingly popular, and BrailleNote
mPower is the first information management tool for the blind to offer
built-in support for them.  About the size of a postage stamp, these tiny
cards can store up to a couple of gigabytes of information.  SD cards are
ideal for taking your media on the go.  With the SD card slot, compact flash
slot, and PCMCIA slot, BrailleNote mPower offers you the ability easily to
carry well over 10 gigabytes of storage on cards alone.

USB.  BrailleNote mPower features two USB host ports.  Connect printers,
embossers, keyboards and storage media to BrailleNote mPower for maximum
power and convenience.  A separate minnie USB client port makes connecting
to your PC with Microsoft ActiveSync a snap.

Great Quality Stereo Audio.  How does this sound? If you're an audiofile,
you'll love the clean, high quality stereo audio you get when you connect a
set of headphones to BrailleNote mPower.  Whether it's mp3, Windows Media or
wave files, on your flash disk, across a network or over the web,
BrailleNote mPower provides a superior listening experience.

Streaming Media.  Listen to the world! BrailleNote mPower offers you access
to thousands of Internet radio stations with its enhanced Media Player.  Its
support for mp3 and Windows Media streaming means you can listen to Internet
radio anywhere you have an Internet connection.  The new "create favourite
from link" feature in KeyWeb makes it easy for you to quickly assemble a
collection of your favourite Internet radio stations, and surf between them.
Braille-note mPower's streaming media capability includes full support for
ACB Radio.

The new Media Player not only allows you to adjust the volume of the media
separately from the speech anywhere in KeySoft, but you can also pause and
resume the playing of audio anywhere, without the need to switch back into
the Media Player application.

Audio Recording.  Use the microphone built into BrailleNote mPower, or the
external microphone of your choice, to record voice memos.  You have full
control over the quality of your recordings, and the ability to set your
recording levels from within the Media Centre.  Just press the handy record
button on the side of BrailleNote mPower, and the virtual tape is rolling.
Replay your last recording from anywhere in KeySoft with a single key press.
It's ideal for recording a phone number or appointment and then easily
playing it back later when you need to enter the data into KeySoft.

Built-in Bluetooth.  Use a printer, a cell phone as a modem, an external
keyboard and more with our completely integrated Bluetooth technology.  No
need to consume a valuable card slot for this important feature, Bluetooth
is with you wherever you go.

Fast Intel X-scale processor.  With the fast processor in BrailleNote
mPower, documents load faster, BrailleNote GPS routes are plotted quicker,
and performance all round is snappy.

BrailleNote mPower includes an updated version of HumanWare's award-winning
KeySoft suite of applications, now at version 6.2.

Quick Summary of connectivity.  BrailleNote mPower includes: SD card slot,
two USB host ports, one USB client port, serial port, infra-red port,
compact flash slot, external microphone jack, headphone jack, PCMCIA slot,
56k dial-up modem, Bluetooth transceiver.  Wireless and Ethernet are
supported through optional cards sold separately.

BrailleNote mPower and VoiceNote mPower will be available for hands-on
demonstrations at the national conventions of the American Council of the
Blind, and the National Federation of the Blind during the first week of
July.  It will also be demonstrated at Sight Village in the UK in mid-July.
Frequently Asked Questions.

Q.  Does BrailleNote mPower replace any existing products? A.  Yes,
BrailleNote mPower replaces the BrailleNote BT, BrailleNote QT, VoiceNote
BT, and VoiceNote QT.  BrailleNote PK continues to be sold and developed as
our ultra-portable solution.

Q.  I just purchased one of the products BrailleNote mPower replaces.  Can
you do anything for me? A.  Yes.  Products will be updated occasionally, and
sadly, there will always be those who purchase just before this happens.
However, your existing product is not obsolete (see the next question).  If
you've purchased one of the older products in the last three months, IE on
or after 1 April 2005, we have a very competitive upgrade package for you.
Contact HumanWare for details.

Q.  So does this mean that if I want new versions of KeySoft, I have to buy
BrailleNote mPower? A.  Not at all.  We're sure you'll like BrailleNote
mPower.  It's hardware means that there's so much more we can offer you with
this product.  However, KeySoft will be updated for the existing product for
the foreseeable future.  Because of hardware limitations however, we cannot
offer all features of new KeySoft versions on the older product.

Q.  Is there anything special you can do for existing BrailleNote users who
want a BrailleNote mPower? A.  There certainly is.  The HumanWare way is to
make sure you have a clear upgrade path to keep your technology current.
BrailleNote mPower is a brand new product.  However, there is one important
part of your existing BrailleNote we can use, your Braille display.  We will
be offering a Braille display transplant service.  Send us your old
BrailleNote, and we'll take the Braille display out of it and transplant it
into a brand spanking new BrailleNote mPower.  This service will be
available from 1 October 2005.  We will offer further details, including
pricing, shortly.

Q.  If I get my Braille display transplanted into a BrailleNote mPower, what
about my SMA? A.  Your SMA will carry over, so you will be entitled to
KeySoft for BrailleNote mPower.

Q. I note that there is no parallel port on BrailleNote mPower, but I have a
parallel printer that works with my existing BrailleNote. What can I do? A.
You can purchase a USB to parallel converter, which will allow you to use
printers and embossers that require a parallel port.

Q.  I'm curious, what does the m in mPower stand for? A.  Mobile.
BrailleNote mPower gives you true mobile power.  But obviously, it is a tool
that is empowering blind people to succeed in all walks of life.

For more information on BrailleNote or VoiceNote mPower, shipping immediately, please contact your nearest HumanWare office or visit us on the web at http://www.humanware.com.

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