by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
Until now, captioned telephone service has been restricted to landline phones (CapTel), or to phones (landline or cell) used in conjunction with a computer (WebCapTel). Now, if you have Apple’s iPhone (cell phone) with 3G service, you can have CapTel captioned conversations where ever you are by just using your cell phone.
If you don’t have Apple’s iPhone with 3G service, you can use any cell phone for the speaking part, but you’ll need another web device in order to read the captions. This could be any portable computer with web access, one of the following smartphones—Apple iPhone, Motorola Q9C, HTC Mogul or the Treo800w or a mobile device that uses Windows Mobile 6 or Apple Mobile Safari.
Once this service becomes widely available on most cell phones, hard of hearing people will be able to “hear” on their cell phones, just like people with normal hearing. But for now, the Apple iPhone with 3G service is a viable option, and points the way to what will hopefully become commonplace in the future.
You can read about it in the CapTel News from Ultratec—Fall 2008 edition. http://www.captionedtelephone.com/customer_service/newsletters/200811.