Dallas — AT&T, has released a new video relay service (VRS) app for iPhone 4 that allows deaf and hard of hearing customers to make VRS calls.
AT&T VRS is a free service that allows a person who uses American Sign Language (ASL) to place a relay call to a hearing person by communicating through a certified ASL interpreter.
AT&T has offered video relay services to customers for many years, but the new AT&T VRS app provides a more flexible and convenient way for users to make VRS calls on the go. iPhone 4 customers can make unlimited VRS calls using the AT&T VRS app at no additional cost.
The feature is only available with the iPhone 4 because of its “FaceTime” video phone feature that is unavailable on previous iPhone versions. FaceTime allows iPhone 4 users to speak and see each other using the iPhone 4’s built-in camera.
To use the app, users must first enable a Wi-Fi connection, as FaceTime will not currently work through AT&T’s 3G or Edge network alone.
Once connected to Wi-Fi, users launch the VRS app, log-in, and can either choose to place a VRS call by selecting someone from their contact list or by manually dialing a number. The app then contacts an AT&T ASL interpreter, who then initiates a FaceTime video call with the user. The interpreter will connect the ASL user to the hearing person they are calling, and relays the conversation between the two parties through ASL.
In addition to the app, AT&T VRS also offers a free software download called AT&T Video Link that turns a computer or laptop into a video phone. This software works on certain Macs and PCs enabled with a web cam and a broadband connection.
AT&T VRS will also provide users with a ten-digit telephone number and supports all the FCC required 911 emergency capabilities.
The AT&T VRS app is available for free from the App Store on iPhone or at www.itunes.com/appstore/. For additional information about AT&T VRS, visit www.att.com/vrs, or access AT&T VRS via video phone at ATTVRS.tv or 877-642-0877.