June 24, 2010
This Friday, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort will unveil the most recent updates to its handheld Assistive Technology Device (ATD) for guests with hearing and visual disabilities. The device will now offer detailed audio descriptions for outdoor areas in the theme parks.
Thanks to collaboration between Disney, HP and Softeq, that device exists today. It's the award-winning DURATEQ, a customized version of the HP iPAQ PDA.
“Disney had the original vision and it defined the requirements. Softeq handled product development and design, tooling, testing, software development, and overall project management. Holding it all together were the superb features and quality of the HP iPAQ PDA platform. The resulting DURATEQ handheld serves the needs of a wide range of accessibility.” says Chris Howard, CEO Softeq Development Corporation.
Disney's Handheld Devices are available at Guest Relations at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. It's free, weighs just 7.2 ounces and fits in the palm of your hand; once you have the device simply go and enjoy your day; the DURATEQ knows what to do. Utilizing Disney's patented location and synchronization technology, it receives data from infrared signals-invisible beams of light-from overhead transmitters located throughout the park, These signals automatically trigger event-synchronized audio and screen displays with no buttons to push except volume control. One guest commented after testing the audio service, Attraction Description, that the device provides something that people with visual disabilities almost never get in real life: “a full description of our surroundings.”
The industry is noticing. We send our heartfelt congratulations to Disney for their Assistive Technology Solution being recognized this week by the National Society of Professional Engineers as the “New Product of the Year” winner in the Mega Company Category. Disney's recognition for achievements in accessibility also includes the da Vinci Award for Assistive Technology and the National Association for the Deaf Access Award.
For more information on Softeq's Durateq Assistive Technology Solution please visit our website or contact us at 888.552.5001.