Haneke Design, a developer of mobile applications for enterprise clients nationwide, today announced several major enhancements to the Z4 mobile application the agency created for client ZVRS (The Z®), a leading provider of video relay service (VRS) to deaf and hard of hearing Americans. The original Z4 application, released in 2010, took advantage of Apple’s FaceTime feature to give The Z’s customers access to sign language interpreters in its call center and enable them to make video calls on their iPhones. The latest version significantly expands on the initial Z4 app’s functions with an array of new ones that fully exploit the capabilities of Apple’s iPhone4, iPod Touch (4th Generation), iPad 2, and Android smart phones.
“ZVRS came to us because they needed to completely rethink the product from the user interface and development side,” said Jody Haneke, president of Haneke Design. “What we created is a completely turnkey solution that exploits the attributes of each device, so that the user can have an optimal experience with the application regardless of the one he or she is using to access the call center or other features.”
The new Z4 application was developed using a universal build for all of the devices, but with different presentation layers created to suit the specific attributes of each one. On the iPad 2, for example, the user will see an HD version of the display, and the interface is designed to take the larger screen into account to create a very different, richer visual experience for the iPad 2 user.
Another major convenience factor for Apple users is the ability to download the Z4 app from the iTunes store and have it synch with their iPhone and iPad automatically, removing the need to download two different apps on two different devices.
“We’re excited to bring these new features to our customers and make it even easier for them to manage all of their devices through a single application,” said Lydia Runnels, vice president of Product Development for The Z. “Haneke Design has been a great partner in helping us deliver outstanding service to our customers. This release gives them the broadest spectrum of communications options and supports the widest range of mobile devices on the market today.”
The new version of the Z4 application also allows users to
- Make, receive and return videophone calls using point-to-point calling or video relay service
- View video mail
- Forward numbers from their mobile device to any other ZVRS phone in their home or business using the Z Remote feature
- Integrate phone contacts stored on personal mobile devices with those stored on The Z’s server
- Manage the profiles, settings, and preferences for all of their phones and devices (mobile and landline) from one location
- Set up a default number that will ring one device in addition to all of the other phones and devices the customer assigns to it.
The Z4’s new video mail function replaces a standard mobile device’s voice mail feature and gives users the ability to view and delete video mail messages. Customers who need to place a call to a hearing person simply choose the number to call from their contacts or manually dial that person’s phone number, and they will automatically be connected directly to a sign language interpreter at The Z’s call center. The interpreter will then translate the conversation between the client and the other party. Calls can also be made directly to other videophones in instances where no sign language interpreter is needed.
“Collaborating with The Z team has been a remarkable experience for us,” Haneke continued. “They have emerged as the mobility leader in the video relay service industry, and are continuously developing new products and services that keep them miles ahead of their competitors. It’s especially rewarding to be working with them on projects like this that have such a positive impact on the lives of deaf and hard of hearing Americans.”
About CSDVRS, LLC (The Z®)
The Z, a for-profit company headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, was spun out from Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), a non-profit corporation, in 2006. Of the company’s 400 employees, 60 percent of the full-time employees are deaf or hard of hearing, including four members of the executive management team.
The Z™ is certified by and operates under FCC regulations and is remunerated for VRS calls processed from the Telecommunications Relay Service Fund. For more information about The Z, please visit www.zvrs.com.