Purple Communications Inc., a maker of text and video relay and on-site interpreting services, is helping hearing-impaired iPhone owners with the launch of a pretty new app that is billed as the first of its kind. IP-Relay for the iPhone/iPod Touch enables users to make direct IP-Relay calls from their mobile device, or dial anyone in their iPhone address book with a few touches on the screen.
Although this app's arrival for the iPhone is worth noting for several reasons, it is most significant because it enables "a direct connection between a deaf iPhone user and a hearing person." In this regard, IP-Relay for iPhone and iPod Touch is groundbreaking for being the first offering in the App Store that can successfully improve the communication capabilities of iPhone users within the deaf community.
Although many of the criticisms levied at Apple's App Store in recent years have centered on some of the surprising admissions that slipped past Apple's radar, other (and perhaps more meaningful) complaints haven't risen to the surface quite as readily, including those that expressed frustration with a lack of applications designed for individuals with a wide variety of disabilities.
Ronald E. Obray, Purple's vice chairman, says:
It feels great to offer our customers another way to connect, particularly on the iPhone which more and more in the Deaf Community are choosing for mobile text communication.