[BCAB] HIMS Inc. Releases New Pocket-sized Media Player that Gives Blind and Visually Impaired Near-instant Access to Printed Text

Colin Howard colin at pobox.com
Fri May 30 14:21:37 BST 2014

Sent to the PC-audio group by Dane Trethowan <grtdane at internode.on.net>
Date: Fri, 30 May 2014 20:17:09 +1000


Text on the site give the following info:

HIMS Inc. Releases New Pocket-sized Media Player that Gives Blind and
Visually Impaired Near-instant Access to Printed Text 
Blaze EZ Multi-player is the first digital book player to give the visually
impaired near-instant audio playback of printed materials and single-button
access to Wi-Fi, documents, books, music and more. 
. .. . . this is the first time that the blind have had OCR built into a
digital book player. Austin, TX (PRWEB) May 29, 2014 

Blaze EZ, a new device available from Austin, Texas-based HIMS Inc. is
likely to become a favorite among those with visual impairments. Those who
are blind now have independent and fast access to printed materials from a
digital book reader without the need for a laptop, camera, scanner or
personal assistance from a relative or friend. This new device, aptly
described by its makers as a ‘multi-player’ is about the size of a deck of
cards, and in addition to OCR text-to-speech access to printed text has the
capability to read and/or play a host of digital document and media formats
including eBooks, DAISY books, Word documents and PDF files, music, internet
radio and more. 

This new device was announced just this spring at the CSUN International
Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference in San Diego, California
yet already the Internet and assistive technology (AT) community are buzzing
with anticipation. Teachers of the visually impaired (TVI’s) and
occupational therapists (OT’s) have been very vocal about their excitement
about what this could mean for their students and clients. Students will now
be able to listen to their textbooks in DAISY and other digital formats, and
then take their Blaze EZ into the library for instant access to printed text
with the touch of just a single button. Professionals can scan and sort
mail, review interoffice memos and even browse an Applebee’s menu
independently while at lunch with their coworkers.

Blaze EZ features high-quality stereo speakers for high quality audio output
and a built-in microphone for recording school lectures or business
meetings. Built-in Wi-Fi adds easy access to podcasts, internet radio and
downloadable content such as DAISY and eBooks. An FM radio and talking clock
round out the features of this tiny yet powerful device for the blind.

HIMS Inc. Education Business Development Manager, Dave Wilkinson, who is
blind himself shared “Independent access to printed text while away from a
personal computer, is something that very few devices have been able to do
really well and this is the first time that the blind have had OCR built
into a digital book player. Apps for iPhone and Android devices have claimed
to have this ability but anyone who’s blind who has tried them knows that
it’s just not an optimal solution. Blaze EZ delivers an excellent result in
a variety of lighting and environmental settings – even when the document
itself is upside down or sideways!”

Blaze EZ, introductorily priced at $695, includes a ten-hour rechargeable
battery and is expected to begin shipping in late June 2014. To learn more
about HIMS and their full line of products for those with low vision or who
are blind, please visit their website, http://www.hims-inc.com or call
888-520-4467 to speak to an assistive technology specialist today.

Since its founding 15 years ago, HIMS has been devoted to improving
opportunities for the visually impaired through the development of
technology products for the blind and low vision. HIMS Inc., an Austin,
Texas-based company that specializes in assistive technology products is a
wholly owned subsidiary of HIMS International Corporation.

 PDF Print 
Michele Paley 
+1 (888) 520-4467 Ext: 301


Dane Trethowan
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