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Freedom Scientific Introduces Portable Reading Solution for the Visually Impaired

(St. Petersburg, Florida - March 24, 2010)

Freedom Scientific today announced its new PEARL® portable reading solution that converts printed text to human-like speech in seconds.

The PEARL is sure to be a hit with blind and low vision students and professionals everywhere. The product combines the new PEARL portable reading camera and the latest release of Freedom Scientific's popular OpenBook® software. The PEARL camera deploys in seconds to connect to a PC, and users simply press a keystroke to snap a picture and hear their documents read back to them with synthesized speech while they control the reading rate and voice. OpenBook lets them select from the Eloquence synthesizer or one of the human-sounding RealSpeak Solo Direct® voices from Nuance® Communications.

Capturing text images is faster than ever before. The PEARL camera has an automatic mode that senses motion, so it knows to snap an image whenever a page is turned. Place a paperback novel sideways and the PEARL will snap two pages at a time and maintain the pagination. For larger books, capture the even pages first, and then flip the book over to capture the odd pages. Keep turning the pages while OpenBook reads to you, capturing up to 20 pages of a bound book per minute.

Use the PEARL to read books, newspapers, magazines, and bills. OpenBook identifies columns and places them in logical reading order. Change the language setting to read foreign language documents with native speaker voices. Once a page has been captured, OpenBook gives low vision users multiple options for viewing the information. They can display the text so that it wraps on the screen, enlarge the font, change the font style, change the foreground and background colors, and have the individual words spotlighted as they are spoken.

The PEARL can also be used as a video magnifier showing a live image of your document on your PC. Navigate with the virtual XY table from the keyboard. Even write under the camera in a magnified view. The PEARL works in most room lighting. If the room is dark, simply turn on the built-in LED lighting.

"The PEARL is the ultimate in portable scanning and reading. The camera sets up in seconds to provide a stable platform with alignment features to ensure you capture a good image every time," said Brad Davis, Vice President of Hardware Product Management for Freedom Scientific. "Because it works with OpenBook 9, users will have all the features and ease of use that OpenBook provides. You can edit documents in split view, add comments and highlighting, and even export them to other applications like Microsoft® Word. Now, the PEARL camera adds lightning-fast OCR for real-time reading. When you are ready to move on, fold the PEARL into a compact package and zip it into its protective neoprene case. Carry it by its shoulder strap or slip it into your briefcase or backpack."

The PEARL camera is priced at $1,195, and OpenBook 9 is $995. Together the solution costs $2,190. Those who already have a previous version of OpenBook can upgrade to OpenBook 9 for $150.

Both the PEARL camera and OpenBook 9 will begin shipping in August 2010.

Special Half-off Introductory Price

The PEARL reading camera comes with a two-year warranty and is available at the special introductory price of $600 until September 30, 2010.

For more information, please visit the Freedom Scientific website or call 877-256-9847.

About Freedom Scientific

Freedom Scientific is a leading worldwide brand of assistive technology products for those with vision impairments. Freedom Scientific is part of Vispero™. Vispero has its headquarters in the USA and the Netherlands, and offices in Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom. Through Vispero's multi-tier distribution, Freedom Scientific products are available in more than 70 countries worldwide.

Freedom Scientific® and its products are registered trademarks in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.