There is a new service for deaf and hearing-impaired people, that that uses software instead of relay operators, called Deftel for iPhone. The hearing person's voice is turned into text during the phone call. The text can be answered with text which is then converted to speech for the hearing person.
Deaftel service is $5.00 a month for 125 local minutes and unlimited Deaftel to Deaftel calling. No relay operators are used just software.
Deaftel also has the ability to play the audio of the call in a frequency set by the Deaftel user. The Deaftel user goes to the Settings screen and can slide the scroll bar to the right or left to make the frequency of the callers voice, higher or lower.
“The current methods for people with hearing loss to talk over the phone are outdated, expensive and rely on relay operators or communications assistants to sit in-between the call.”said Kunal Batra, the founder of the Deaftel app, “Imagine trying to call a doctor, lawyer or loved and want to have a private conversation. With the current relay system, this is not possible. Also most businesses use phone systems instead of cell phones, which don’t support SMS messaging.”
Kunai created the idea for a programming contest while working on another start-up. The service uses AT&T's speech-to-text service Watson through an AT&T API.
The service only works on iPhone with iOS app. Deaftel does not allow you to make emergency calls to emergency services. You must make alternative communication arrangements to ensure you can make emergency calls if necessary.
The person you are speaking to must be speaking English-only