ZVRS' Z4 App Crowned DeafTechNews' VRS Mobile Product of the Year

The mobile application, designed and developed for ZVRS by Haneke Design, transforms smart devices into mobile videophones for deaf and hard of hearing Americans

TAMPA, Fla., Jan. 23, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- When coupled with new technologies, mobile applications can literally change people's lives. Such is the case with the Z4 mobile application, built by Haneke Design for ZVRS, also known as The Z®, a leading provider of video relay services (VRS) for deaf and hard of hearing Americans. DeafTechNews last week named the Z4 mobile application, which gives deaf consumers unprecedented communication opportunities by turning their smart devices into mobile videophones, Mobile Product of the Year in its poll of Top Video Relay Products of 2011.

"We're very proud to learn that the Z4 mobile application we built together with the ZVRS team has won such prestigious recognition from the deaf community," said Jody Haneke, president of Haneke Design. "They have emerged as the mobility leader in the VRS 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."

The winning Z4 application allows users to:

  • Make, receive and return videophone calls using point-to-point calling or video relay services
  • Call any party in their phone's contact list as well as those stored in their personal contact list on The Z®'s server
  • Access The Z®'s YouTube channel and video training library
  • Manage their personal customer account and "one number" settings from their mobile device.

The newest version of Z4 also features video mail (instead of voice mail) that allows users to view and delete video mail messages, plus email and Internet access. Pressing the Call button will initiate a call to a sign language interpreter at The Z's call center, then connect directly to the desired hearing party. 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.

"Engaging with Haneke Design to develop our mobile applications has kept us in step with the technology our customers rely on to communicate while on the go," said Lydia Runnels, vice president of product development for ZVRS. "Their team has paid close attention to both the functional aspects and the overall user experience of these applications."

About ZVRS (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 http://www.zvrs.com.

About Haneke Design

Haneke Design is an interactive design and development firm focused on delivering user-centered solutions for desktop, mobile and tablet devices. With offices in Tampa and Denver, Haneke Design works with some of the world's leading brands and advertising agencies to deliver multi-platform, cross-device campaigns. Additionally, Haneke Design helps SMB and enterprise customers mobilize their web applications and web services. These solutions integrate seamlessly, are easy to use and deliver bottom line results.

For more information, visit www.hanekedesign.com.

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