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XEROX INTRODUCES FULLY FEATURED PORTABLE READING MACHINE: BREAKTHROUGH FOR BLIND, VISUALLY IMPAIRED

 XEROX INTRODUCES FULLY FEATURED PORTABLE READING MACHINE:
 BREAKTHROUGH FOR BLIND, VISUALLY IMPAIRED
 "...an invention that can actually make more productive people."
 STAMFORD, Conn., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX) today introduced The Reading Edge -- a portable synthesized- voice reading machine that establishes a new standard for affordability and ease of use, and provides blind and visually impaired individuals with unprecedented access to written materials.
 Designed and manufactured by Xerox Imaging Systems (XIS), The Reading Edge, at about 20 pounds, just slightly larger than a briefcase and with a price of $5,495, is a fraction of the weight, size and price of the first-generation Kurzweil reading machine, a $50,000, dishwasher- size device that weighed more


than 300 pounds when it was introduced in 1975.
 The Reading Edge combines voice synthesizers and Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) technologies to scan and recognize text from documents or books and literally "read" the text aloud. The machine's portability and ease of use provides immediate access to any printed material in virtually any location, and enables blind and visually impaired people to leverage opportunities for education, employment and enjoyment.
 "Xerox has traditionally offered products that make people more productive; The Reading Edge is an invention that can actually make more productive people," said James E. McGowan, president and chief executive officer, Xerox Imaging Systems.
 The immediate need for adaptive equipment, such as The Reading Edge, has been heightened by the Americans with Disabilities Act, a federal law that as of July 1992 mandated businesses with 25 or more employees to acquire or modify equipment to accommodate people with disabilities.
 In the United States alone, there are more than 3 million blind or visually impaired individuals. While these people can gain access to printed materials through traditional solutions, such as live readers, audio tapes and documents printed in Braille, these mechanisms are constrained by availability, cost and convenience.
 The Reading Edge is an integrated, portable unit that can be packed into an optional carrying case, toted to virtually any location and -- within seconds -- set up and ready for use. The machine is designed for individuals at home, work and school, as well as for use in libraries, corporations, government institutions, schools, and agencies that service individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
 A "Smart Card," barely larger than a consumer credit card, is accessible to users and can be easily changed to upgrade the machine's software or to select among seven languages that The Reading Edge can recognize, interpret and speak.
 "The Reading Edge is a breakthrough adaptive technology product," said Gregory Guidice, director of marketing, XIS Adaptive Technology Products. "By offering powerful functionality, an ergonomically designed package and an affordable price, we will be able to reach a larger number of people and make this important technology more accessible to those who need it in their daily lives."
 PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
 The Reading Edge will begin shipping in December 1992 through XIS' worldwide network of agents; international languages will be available in May. The complete system will sell in the United States for $5,495. In one unit, the system includes a bookedge scanner, ICR software, DECtalk card or Infovox card and speaker, and a choice of documentation in three formats: print, Braille or cassette. Customers interested in the product may call XIS toll free at 800-421-7323.
 Xerox Imaging Systems, based in Peabody, Mass., provides adaptive technology products for individuals who are blind, visually impaired, dyslexic, reading disabled or have other difficulties in accessing print. For nearly two decades -- starting with the first Kurzweil Reading Machine -- XIS has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to provide print disabled users with products that increase and facilitate their independent access to materials in print.
 -0- 10/19/92
 /CONTACT: Jeff Simek of Xerox Corporation, 716-423-5230, or Gregory Guidice of XIS, 508-977-2097/
 (XRX) CO: Xerox Corporation ST: New York, Massachusetts IN: CPR SU: PDT


KK -- CL001 -- 1338 10/19/92 08:10 EDT
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Date:Oct 19, 1992
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