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Vodacom Zooms in for the partially sighted

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Vodacom yesterday announced that it is the first network in South Africa to offer Zooms software, a mobile solution for partially sighted mobile users. The Zooms software which is available on the Nokia E66 handset magnifies mobile content to assist users with low vision to have an excellent user experience when using their mobile phones.

Over 135 million people worldwide have some form of visual impairment, such as macular degeneration that cannot be corrected with standard glasses. This form of visual impairment results in low-vision which interferes with a person’s ability to view information on the handset screen, making it difficult for the mobile user to view SMS text messages, Caller IDs and other content on their handsets.

The Zooms’ full screen magnification capability enables users to magnify the text on the cellphone screen such as the menu, soft keys, messages received or battery indicator to up to 16 times its original size. It also has a ‚distributed views mode’ which divides the screen into several areas, enabling users to view all important elements simultaneously. ‚In South Africa 3 out of 4 visually impaired people are partially sighted with the remainder comprising those who are blind. We were pioneers in the launch of the speaking phones for the blind and we are now leaders in the launch of innovative solutions for those who are partially sighted. Effectively, we now have a mobile solution for all users who are visually impaired,‚ said Shameel Joosub, Managing Director at Vodacom South Africa.

The ZOOMS allows low-vision users to navigate through the screen and magnify the desired content or messaging displayed on the mobile phone. As the user scrolls through a menu or a list of options, ZOOMS magnifies each item along with some of the surrounding area.

‚Our focus is to have a mobile solution for people with various specific needs and we are really excited about our progress because it demonstrates that Vodacom is a caring company that aims at developing innovative communication solutions for everyone including people with specific needs,‚ says Shameel Joosub, Managing Director at Vodacom South Africa.

The Nokia E66 with Zoom is available at all participating Vodashops and Vodacom 4U stores on contract or prepaid. For more information on the Specific Needs products and services, customers can contact Vodacom’s Specific Needs Contact Centre on 12580, free from a Vodacom cellphone, or on 082 12580 from any other phone (standard rates apply). Customers can also send an email to 12580@vodacom.co.za or send an SMS to 12580.

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