Purple P3 VRS Turns Mac, PC, iPhone, or Android Into Videophone:
Purple provides solutions that enable deaf and hard of hearing individuals and businesses to communicate more effectively using telecom technologies, especially video relay services that access American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters.
Based in Rocklin, CA, Purple was founded in 2008 to enable free-flowing communication among all people, regardless of differences in abilities, language, or location.
All of Purple's products and services are free to deaf and HOH callers. Its applications run on all major platforms, including PCs, Macs, the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and on Android devices.
Purple's annual revenues - estimated at $100 million -- come from reimbursement fees the Federal Communications Commission pays to companies implementing Americans with Disabilities Act provisions that make phone calling accessible to the deaf.
Purple has approximately 100,000 customers it serves through a national network of 15 call centers where its interpreters work.
The company's name is taken from the color purple, which combines blue and red - the signature colors of telecom giants AT&T and Verizon.
Purple’s Innovations Give Deaf Functionally Equivalent Phone Access:
Purple's telecommunications innovations for deaf and hard-of-hearing customers include:
- Internet relay
- Wireless relay
- Mobile communication apps
- Real local 10-digit number access for video and text relay & interpreting services.
Purple has also developed a flat-screen monitor to facilitate instant communication between deaf people and medical experts at hospitals.
The company has installed public videophone kiosks in major cities throughout the US.
Among its advocacy work relating to technology, Purple has sought FCC rule changes promoting competition among VRS providers to give customers more choices.
Purple's Products Support Near Real-Time Phone Conversations for Deaf:
Purple Video Relay Service: Purple VRS software provides free sign language interpreters to enable deaf and HOH individuals and businesses to communicate in real time with hearing individuals over video desktop and mobile devices.
Purple Text Relay: This free text relay service enables deaf & HOH individuals to communicate with hearing persons over the phone through a call assistant who alternately speaks the deaf person's typed words and types the hearing person's spoken words.
On-Site Interpreting: Purple has a certified team that interprets ASL in both English and Spanish for any in-person interpretation needs, including job interviews, training, business meetings, and special events. Purple interpreters are familiar with business, medical, and legal terminology and are bound by the Interpreters Code of Professional Conduct.
Video Remote Interpreting: Purple VRI is an on-demand service where certified sign language interpreters facilitate conversation over a live web video connection. The high-quality audio and video make it an ideal communication method for business meeting, medical appointments, and conferences.
ClearCaptions: This service displays near real-time call captions on web browsers or through an application running on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
Purple VRS features include: PurpleMail, a personal voice greeting, and video-only mode.
System requirements vary depending on platform. For example, Purple for Mac requires:
- Mac with an Intel Processor
- Mac OS X 10.5 or higher
- Flash Player 10.1 or higher
- Webcam (built-in or USB).
Mac users can make VRS calls through iChat using PurpleVRSim.
For Purple, Telecommunications is a Right, Not a Luxury
Perhaps Purple's most significant accomplishment is making phone calls almost as immediate (near real-time) for deaf and HOH individuals as it is for hearing people.
In the days of text telephones, calls had to be scheduled around interpreter availability. The retyping, relaying, and reading of messages filled conversations between deaf and hearing people with frustrating lags.
Purple's interpreters, VRS solutions, and multi-platform mobile apps have advanced deaf telecommunications to the edge of functional equivalency.
In addition to developing technology, Purple supports US schools and organizations serving the deaf and educates companies on the importance of providing equal employment opportunities.
Purple's advocacy has opened careers once thought unavailable to deaf or hard of hearing individuals. A quarter of Purple's 200+ employees are deaf or HOH, including most of its sales and support staff.
"Purple has many deaf employees," said Diana Herron, Purple's director of customer care. "They play key roles and influence the development and future of this company."