Vision-impaired customers already benefiting from Voice Guide and
Explore by Touch on Kindle Fire HD 8.9”
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 6, 2012--
For years features such as text-to-speech and adjustable font sizes have
helped vision-impaired Kindle owners enjoy books more easily and those
with learning disabilities to improve their reading skills. Today,
Amazon announced that it is bringing “Voice Guide” and “Explore by
Touch”—two new accessibility features previously available on Kindle
Fire HD 8.9”—to its new standard definition Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire
HD 7”. These features help vision-impaired customers to more easily
navigate the menus and content on the device, enjoy books and
audiobooks, and listen to music. These features have been available with
Kindle Fire HD 8.9” since its release and will be made available on the
standard definition Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD 7” early next year.
“We have heard from thousands of customers who are vision-impaired that
Kindle has made a difference in their lives. With Kindle Fire HD 8.9”
and soon our full line of new tablets, we are continuing our efforts to
provide a range of accessibility features—Voice Guide, Explore by Touch,
text-to-speech, optional text coloring and adjustable font sizes—for our
vision-impaired customers,” said Dave Limp, Vice President, Amazon
Kindle. “We plan to deliver additional accessibility features, so that
our vision-impaired customers can have a better experience for reading,
communicating and consuming media.”
Voice Guide leverages technology from IVONA, one of the leading
text-to-speech software engine companies. IVONA delivers world-class
pronunciations to read aloud menus with Voice Guide and books with
text-to-speech for Kindle Fire tablets.
With Voice Guide navigation, any action performed by the customer on the
device is read aloud. For example, when a book is launched from the
library, the system will announce the book title and the fact that it
has been opened, saying “The Hunger Games. Book opened.” This mode also
provides immediate feedback to visually-impaired individuals for their
actions on the device. Additionally, vision-impaired customers can
navigate the touchscreen with Explore by Touch. In this mode, customers
are able to swipe their finger across the touchscreen and as they touch
an item, the system announces what item has been tapped (e.g. when
touching a book in the library the book title is called out loud). A
second tap on the item will perform the default action on the item (e.g.
a second tap on the book would open it).
Other Kindle reader features vision-impaired customers and those with
learning disabilities can take advantage of on the all new Kindle Fire
Text-to-speech—simultaneously reading along with the synchronized text.
Adjustable fonts—customers can select from multiple font settings,
including large font sizes for low vision, and adjust margins to allow
for less text to appear on a page.
Modify the text color to appear as white over black, black over white
Built-in dictionary for instant access to look up new or difficult
Vision-impaired customers can also take advantage of the free Kindle for
PC with Accessibility Plugin reading application, which provides an
accessible way to enjoy the vast Kindle library on any personal
computer. The application features voice-guided menu navigation, large
font sizes, high contrast reading mode, keyboard navigation and
accessible shortcuts, as well as text-to-speech reading with adjustable
voice settings for customers who have an external screen reader program
installed on their PC.
Customers can learn more about the all-new Kindle Fire tablets at www.amazon.com/kindlefirehd
and Kindle for PC with Accessibility Plugin at www.amazon.com/kindle/accessibility.
Amazon.com, Inc., a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the
World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection.
Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company,
where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy
online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices.
Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished
and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games;
Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids &
Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports &
Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides
Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure
services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which
developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Kindle
Paperwhite is the most-advanced e-reader ever constructed with 62% more
pixels and 25% increased contrast, a patented built-in front light for
reading in all lighting conditions, extra-long battery life, and a thin
and light design. The new latest generation Kindle, the lightest and
smallest Kindle, now features new, improved fonts and faster page turns.
Kindle Fire HD features a stunning custom high-definition display,
exclusive Dolby audio with dual stereo speakers, high-end, laptop-grade
Wi-Fi with dual-band support, dual-antennas and MIMO for faster
streaming and downloads, enough storage for HD content, and the latest
generation processor and graphics engine—and it is available in two
display sizes—7” and 8.9”. The large-screen Kindle Fire HD is also
available with 4G wireless, and comes with a groundbreaking $49.99
introductory 4G LTE data package. The all-new Kindle Fire features a 20%
faster processor, 40% faster performance, twice the memory, and longer
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As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include
Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning
of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly
from management's expectations. These forward-looking statements involve
risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to
competition, management of growth, new products, services and
technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international
expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center
optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and
strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption,
inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More
information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's
financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual
Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.
Source: Amazon.com, Inc.
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