2004 Conference Proceedings

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Michel Pepin
841, boul. Jean-Paul-Vincent
Longueuil, Quebec, J4G 1R3 CANADA
Phone: 819-471-4818 ext. 331
Fax: 819-471-4828
Email: michelp@visuaide.com

A growing number of libraries for the blind are converting to digital technology (DAISY format). Because the technology is still new, DAISY players were until recently relatively high-priced. In addition, as the number of users grew, several distinct user categories emerged, with specific needs in terms of functionality, ease of use and portability. This made it necessary to develop new products to make the revolutionary technology more affordable to a larger number of print-disabled persons.

To better meet needs expressed by libraries and users, VisuAide worked in close cooperation with different organizations for the blind, such as the Royal National Institute for the Blind in England and Recording For the Blind in the U.S. Throughout the lengthy process of developing the new DAISY players, VisuAide consulted these organizations, paying strict attention to their comments and recommendations, so as to supply products highly compatible with the needs of their clientele.

VisuAide identified the main needs of libraries in order to offer them appropriate solutions: older persons needing a simple-to-use, easy-to-handle unit; young persons looking for a full-featured, compact unit combining DAISY and CD-MP3 players; students and professionals requiring a sturdy, high-performance unit, and libraries planning to offer Internet downloading of DAISY, requiring a new solution to support the new distribution mode. From these needs VisuAide has developed the four following new products:
The new Victor Reader for Win CE

To offer libraries and users a new tool allowing their clienteles to download DAISY books via the Internet, VisuAide just launched an ultra compact solution operating on Pocket PC under Windows CE. In addition to increased portability, this version offers all the potential of DAISY technology in the palm of your hand. The new product allows downloading and reading of DAISY books on PDA and includes, among other advantages, screen text mode and both text and spoken notetaking.

Victor Reader Classic
The Victor Reader Classic is the world leader in Daisy player sales and has been distributed in over 20 countries in 13 languages. The newly redesigned Victor Reader Classic is characterized by being simple to use. It offers basic functionality and was designed for leisure reading, such as novels, magazines, etc. Readers can browse a book's table of contents and skip about instantly by section or page. The new Victor Reader Classic is equipped with a built-in handle and operates on standard or rechargeable batteries, making it easy to carry and use it anywhere.

Victor Reader Vibe
The first mainstream MP3 player with full DAISY capability. VisuAide was successful in integrating its proven and highly reliable DAISY player software within a commercial off-the-shelf MP3 product. Victor Reader Vibe is the smallest and most affordable DAISY player in the industry. It offers the full navigation and advanced features found in the most powerful DAISY players at a fraction of the price.

Victor Reader Vibe is a portable CD player designed for students and professionals. Users can navigate faster and far more efficiently through reference works and complex textbooks. In addition to basic navigation features, Victor Reader Vibe lets you skip straight to a specific page, insert bookmarks to return to a specific section or mark important passages. Victor Reader Vibe's compact size and rechargeable batteries allow you to take and use it anywhere.

Victor Reader Classic +
The Victor Reader Pro was the first major international sales success for VisuAide and has been distributed in over 20 countries in 13 languages. For the next generation of Daisy players for students and professionals, VisuAide's customers requested a sturdier solution with a CD slot drive, carrying handle, high-quality speaker, better button contrast and longer battery life. The Victor Reader Classic + delivers all those benefits at a lower price.
The Victor Reader Classic + offers the full functionality of Victor Reader Pro with the robust ergonomic design of the market-leading Victor Reader Classic. The Classic + offers a slot drive mechanism for the CD drive as well as a full numeric keypad to rapidly and accurately navigate throughout books. Like Victor Reader Pro, the Classic + is easy to carry. The player sports a built-in handle and rechargeable batteries.

A world leader in digital talking book technology
From the very beginning, VisuAide has been a major player in digital talking book development and a highly active member of the DAISY consortium, quickly establishing itself as leader in the field with its Victor Reader line. VisuAide first gained recognition with Victor Reader Pro, an advanced-functionality player now numbering thousands of users around the world. Next came Victor Reader Classic, a basic unit designed to meet the needs of leisure readers, then Victor Reader Soft, a software application allowing DAISY books to be read on any PC. Victor Reader products are now used by leading libraries for the blind.

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