New Voice-Guided Technology Recognised As Ahead of The Field

(LONDON) - Diebold has been recognised by global online news site ATMmarketplace for its use of RealSpeak(tm) technology to provide voice-guided ATMs to aid the visually impaired. In a recent report (June 2005) ATMmarketplace noted that few companies comply with US requirements for ATM accessibility for people with disabilities, yet Diebold's improved ATM capabilities in partnership with ScanSoft's RealSpeak text-to-speech technology were an "exception to that rule."

Diebold's partnership with ScanSoft® on its Opteva ATM range was announced in February 2005. By leveraging ScanSoft's RealSpeak text-to-speech (TTS) technology, Diebold can provide a high-level of accessibility at the ATM. The technology guides visually impaired users through transactions with an easy-to-understand, natural sounding voice, enabling them to quickly complete transactions with increased ease. ScanSoft RealSpeak helps users navigate their transactions - from simple requests such as account balance information to deposits and cash withdrawals - and alerts ATM users to any errors that may have occurred during the transaction.

"At Diebold, we have always been and will remain committed to delivering ATM services that provide convenience, security and accessibility to all users," said Danny O'Brien, senior vice president of global product development and engineering for Diebold. "ScanSoft offers the highest quality product with the most flexibility. This premium voice engine is an important part of our solutions and it will help us exceed accessibility requirements. Speech brings an important human element to our ATMs, and it enhances the many accessibility features we already provide to the consumer."

In order to provide an unmatched level of accessibility at the ATM, Diebold carries out extensive research into current and future trends by designing ATMs with first-hand feedback from disabled users.

Dave Barker, principal strategist specialising in human factors for Diebold says, "Many people don't realise industrial design focuses as much on the usability of products as it does on the appearance of those products. Our industrial design team works to make sure all people, regardless of their abilities, can use Diebold products easily. That's why we pay so much attention to human factors and accessibility."

ScanSoft is yet another enhancement to Diebold's ATMs. Diebold's Opteva family of ATMs, which was launched in 2003, are the most accessible units in the financial industry. Through its work with organisations like the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) in the US., Diebold has engineered design elements that ensure accessibility for people with various disabilities. In addition to text-to-speech capabilities, Diebold's Opteva ATMs also include accessibility features such as a more consistent transaction flow, headphone jacks, a single-style keypad that provides consistency across the entire line of ATMs and grouping of primary and secondary transaction functions.

Diebold's Opteva ATMs are powered by Agilis®, Diebold's open software platform that delivers high performance and maximum flexibility. A multi-vendor software solution, Agilis supports a wide variety of languages. By joining ScanSoft with Agilis, text-to-speech capabilities can be provided in up to six languages on a single ATM.

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