Home Business RealThing Ai Launches Latest Smartphone for the Visually Impaired with the RNIB and O2
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RealThing Ai Launches Latest Smartphone for the Visually Impaired with the RNIB and O2

by maria

RealThing Ai is today announcing the launch of its latest fully voice accessible smartphone: the RealSAM Pocket V4, completely designed for those with sight loss.

Released today in the United Kingdom and previewing in the United States, RealSAM Pocket V4 delivers on significant innovations from its V3 2021 release. The newest developments are cleverly crafted to meet the daily frustrations that visually impaired people face, including the ease of accessing choices when shopping, challenges in being independently mobile and a need for a reliable solution to read text in confidential situations, such as banking and healthcare.

Now faster, more powerful and with upgraded visual clarity1, RealSAM Pocket V4 boasts features such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Object Recognition and an enhanced Emergency On-call Assistant2 to support independent living and make everyday tasks such as cooking and completing shopping easier.

The latest version allows users to use their smartphone to set a reminder detailing their shopping list, use guided navigation to walk independently to the supermarket, and receive reminders to avoid known pitfalls such as high kerbs or low hanging trees.

Its voice activated Object Recognition and OCR features enables users to review items on a supermarket shelf, compare prices and select products with a preferred sell by date.

RealThing Ai is an artificial intelligence business formed in 2008 by a collection of Ai researchers and developers with a background in Defence, Aviation and Research. Its RealSAM products aim to change the lives of visually impaired people in Australia, the UK and the US.

UK Country Manager for RealThing Ai, Louise Humphreys, said, “The development for Pocket V4 began in April 2021, when we partnered with The Royal National Institute of Blind People to interview people living with sight loss in the UK who had not previously experienced RealSAM technology. Our objective was to understand people’s everyday frustrations and to turn these insights into a meaningful roadmap for product development. Our research uncovered the three consistent areas of concern for blind and partially sighted people.”

RNIB Digital Transformation Manager, Paul Porter, said: “Speaking directly with blind and partially sighted people to find out their thoughts and frustrations with accessible smartphones was essential for this product development. We hope the updated features of the new phone will help to meet the needs of customers with sight loss.”

Since its UK launch in 2018 in partnership with the RNIB and O2, RealSAM Pocket has bundled an easy to use, fully voice-controlled smartphone with inbuilt entertainment and personal assistant features. These include:

– Easy access to over 100,000 audiobooks, newspapers and magazines supplied by the UK charities, RNIB and Calibre Audio
– Instant video support from the Be My Eyes network of volunteers
– An on-call assistant that simultaneously calls and texts nominated contacts in the event of an emergency
– Customisable guidance for navigating walking routes
– Voice controlled access to Zoom calls to support remote working.

Never Struggle with Small Print Again
RealSAM Pocket’s new OCR feature allows users to take a picture of printed or handwritten text and have it read back to them with high accuracy. The phone’s voice controls guide the process, alerting the user to the image being in focus, while also offering the ability to customise the onscreen display to alternative brightness, contrast, and colour combinations to improve visibility for those with some vision.

Object recognition is useful in unfamiliar situations, using the onboard camera combined with voice technology to capture and explain all elements in shot.

Upgraded Handset and Support
Powered by a customised Samsung XCover 5 handset, Pocket V4 benefits from a new visual interface plus significant leaps in its battery life, memory, and processing speeds. RealSAM Pocket continues to be IP68 rated meaning it can withstand submersion in water of 1.5 metres depth for 30 minutes2.

The RealSAM Customer Support Web Portal has also been given a refresh to coincide with the Pocket V4 launch. While all customers benefit from ongoing and unlimited telephone support from RealThing Ai’s UK team, the complementing web portal allows loved ones to manage contacts and suggest reading lists to support Blind users from afar.

Flexible Pricing and No Quibble Returns
RealSAM Pocket’s flexible finance options start from £26.99 a month, with a range of call and data plans and ownership options on offer. As a partner of the RNIB, RealSAM Pocket is included in the RNIB Technology Grant Scheme4, offering eligible customers up to £350 off the cost of purchasing RealSAM Pocket V4.

All customers benefit from a no quibble 60 day returns policy and free lifetime servicing5.

About RealThing Ai
RealThing Ai is a global business specialising in conversational Ai technology. RealThing Ai’s clever innovation is a solution that is multi command controlled, meaning that a user can ask a series of building questions – not just a single question and answer, resulting in it performing particularly well for people with a disability who need to operate technology fully by voice. RealThing Ai’s range of RealSAM products are designed for anyone with visual impairments, making often complex technology accessible. For more information visit www.realsam.co.uk or www.realsam.us

Launching in the US
RealSAM Pocket will launch for the first time in the United States on Wednesday 26th January 2022 as part of the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Florida. ATIA|Assistive Technology Industry Association

1 Samsung XCover 5 Specifications
2 RealSAM Pocket Call Assistant is now accessible through voice and touch controls. Simply say “Make Assistance Call” and Pocket will simultaneously call and text nominated contacts with details of the caller’s location and need for support. Previous versions of the RealSAM Pocket Call Assistant were only accessible by touch.
3 RealSAM surveyed 20 blind and partially sighted people between April and May 2021 through a series of in depth interviews and three focus groups. Participants in the survey were identified by the RNIB to represent a cross section of visual impairments, age, gender, employment status and geographic location. All participants had not previously used RealSAM technology.
4 More information on the RNIB Technology Grant Scheme is available at Grants from RNIB – RNIB – See differently
5 Free lifetime servicing applies to active subscriptions only and includes the option to return a RealSAM Pocket device for fault diagnosis, software updates and minor repairs, such as battery replacement. For full terms and conditions visit realsam.co.uk/support

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