Look! New VPAD by Viable, Inc.

Check this link that was recently released called VPAD, the new videophone by Viable, Inc.

Viable’s VPAD

This link comes with the product’s specifications, and a great flash video demonstration! Go and look!

Viable's VPAD Image


Oh my gawd, I got this email from Glenn Lockhart, Corporate Communications (PR Guy) of Viable, Inc., that he took the picture of VPAD at Las Vegas!


Straight from the CES Unveiled event (pix attached)!

The media attention we’ve been receiving here has been truly incredible.

Thanks for your support!

Glenn Lockhart
Corporate Communications

VPAD Picture!

Another picture published in Tech Digest

CES 2008: Viable’s video phone for deaf and hard of hearing


Oooo…. ooooo!

I cannot wait to get my hands on this product, so that I can compare this with Sorenson’s VP200, and SnapVRS’s Ojo.

Read the newest press release about VPAD that was unveiled at the 2008 International CES conference in Las Vegas today (January 5, 2008).

Press Release

Of course, I have questions about this product…

1. Does this VPAD come with rechargeable batteries?
2. Does this VPAD’s Power 12V DC with AC power adapter compatible with DC to AC Car Adapter if I need to plug in my car?
3. How heavy is it? It comes with a carrying case, and I want to know how heavy I’ll have to carry this.
4. Since it comes with an option using Ethernet jack or Wireless. What kind of wireless standard? Is it 802.11g or 802.11b? Or is it similar to our pager’s wireless standard? GPRS (new international wireless standard) available to GSM (Global System for Mobile telecommunications) networks? PCS networks? Which one????
5. This VPAD comes with Audio/Video In/Out – connecting with TV? DVD? LCD Projector? What is the purpose of having audio/video in/out slots?
6. This VPAD has SD Card, and it seems like it can be used as Digital Picture Frame. What are other files I can download from SD Card? Can I download videos?
7. This VPAD comes with USB 2.0 slot (how many? only one?) and can I connect with any kind of USB keyboard?
8. This VPAD comes with headset, for who? for VCO users?
9. It would be great that the flash video demonstration has a zoom feature for me to zoom-in to see the product closely, especially the slot areas.
10. What kind of interface the VPAD will be showing? Is it the same with Viable Vision interface?

and, my last question…

11. How can I get this product? How much does it cost? How will this be distributed?

Sorry — more questions…

12. What way people can call in? Using 10-digit phone number or IP address? I sincerely hope it is 10-digit phone number.
13. Will I use this VPAD to make VRI (Video Relay Interpreting) calls with understanding that I pay for the services?
14. Will this VPAD have a basic operating system including email/AIM/ICQ procotol?
15. Do I need to purchase a new wireless router for this VPAD?

Viable? Are you watching? We are waiting for your answers…

Congratulations, Viable, Inc.!

58 Responses to “Look! New VPAD by Viable, Inc.”

  1. Aidan Mack Says:

    Exciting! HEHEHE… I cant wait to get my hand on this product too… What’s more, this Viable company runs by Deaf people. What is so awesome about this product? It was made by Deaf people. A big WOW!! Viable shows that Deaf people can do anything….


  2. Deb M Says:

    I am so thrilled that you shared this information with us! I wish I can fly out to Las Vegas and see this product at their exhibition booth and buy it right on the spot.

    Excellent questions you pointed out. I am very curious to hear what are their answer to your questions about this product.

  3. Gary Brooks Says:

    It’s beyond my imagination!!!! I feel like I am in Star Trek Universe I can’t wait to have spaceship of our own!!

    Go beyond where no one have gone before…

    Gary ;)

  4. Rick M. (Ally) Says:

    WOW! It is neat product! I alway think when will we have a chance to call on some of the product like this V!!! It sure will make alot of questions like U have listed. The same way I was asking when the product will be released! Amy, Thanks for leaking the information and deaf community need to know about that!

    Rick M.

  5. Plato Says:

    Do not forget 802.11n as my wireless network is already on this standard. I want to know how much NOW!

  6. WAD Says:

    I applaud Viable to be a deaf owned company. My eyes opened wide anticipating the exciting news of a new product to be shown at CES to be a good one.

    But my first impression when viewing the Viable’s website was somewhat disappointing. It is not as vibrant as I’d hoped it to be. At the bottom of the homepage, it shows a lady pulling you with her finger (hint hint hint).

    And Viable seems to focus on deaf and hard of hearing people only, hence my impression is that their goals are very limited. The pointer bullets using ViableVRS in workplace (http://www.viable.net/vrs/work) did not convince me to switch from other competitor to theirs immediate. I double-dare Viable to expand their horizontal avenues wider. But (finally) I found VPAD and it looks promising. I’ll leave to the geeks to rate the VPAD. In my opinion, it should be shown on homepage (it’s not as of 01/05/08).

    Viable’s logo looks striking similar to Life-Size’s logo (http://www.lifesize.com/) as both company focus on video communication product. I hope the trademark infringement notification letter never will arrive at Viable’s office.

    Wanting to see the success story flourish, I expect Viable to focus on three core values: quality, delivery, and innovation as well as taking advantage of Bill Dester’s plead (http://www.rit.edu/president/Business_Academia.pdf) for corporations to work with RIT’s on research and development. He’s asking for less fights on intellectual property (http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/11/28/rit) with corporations. Clearly he welcomes anyone with open arms. It will give NTID a boost in the technology field.

    I have a good feeling Viable will have better handle of social responsibility than Sorenson, like said in a blog (http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/11/28/rit) and vlog (http://deafpundit.wordpress.com/2007/09/06/sorenson-vrs-not-deaf-community-friendly-asl-version/) by A Deaf Pundit.

    Will this message set Viable on fire and get their employees to work harder and be more competitive? Can Viable Triple-dog-dare me?

    Best of luck to Viable and I am counting on you to blossom.

    p.s. I have a confession to make; I am falling in love with the VMan. Ain’t he cute!?! (http://viable.net/img/2007/upload/wave.png)

  7. Josh Says:

    Excellent questions, Amy!

  8. Viable VPAD Unveiled - And It’s A Beaut « Proud Geek Says:

    […] the unveiling of this VPAD – good going, Amy!) had several excellent questions about the VPAD.  Go pay her blog post a visit, and I hope she gets these questions answered soon. Posted by proudgeek Filed in Video Relay […]

  9. WAD Says:

    Correction: A Deaf Pundit’s blog (http://deafpundit.wordpress.com/2007/09/01/sorenson-vrs-not-deaf-community-friendly/)

  10. abcohende Says:

    Josh – Thank you so much and I saw your blog announcing VPAD too!

    WAD – I really appreciate you providing useful links! It is so interesting. Yes, I agree with you that Viable needs to improve their website and demonstrate better social responsibility. No question about it!

    Plato – another wireless standard? I hope VPAD has some kind of backward feature that allows us to connect many different kind of wireless network. I would hate to see this VPAD is limited to one.

    Rick M – Thank you – I am very interested and once I’ve stumbled across Viable’s website hoping to see something is new… and ahhh… saw this nifty picture! Then, of course, I wanted to learn more about it — and read the specifications. I was tad disappointed with so little information. That’s why I have so many questions!

    Gary – Yeahhh — futuristic? I wouldn’t be surprised that in less than 5 years, we will have a brand new videophone with holographic features.

    Deb – Thanks! I cannot wait to get my paws all over this product…

    Aidan – Yeah! Deaf-owned company created something really awesome for all of us. Let’s support this company and how they will provide tech support? Hope it’ll expand business somehow.

    Ohhh I have more questions!

    12. What way people can call in? Using 10-digit phone number or IP address? I sincerely hope it is 10-digit phone number.

    13. Will I use this VPAD to make VRI (Video Relay Interpreting) calls with understanding that I pay for the services?

    14. Will this VPAD have a basic operating system, i.e. email procotol?

    Amy Cohen Efron

  11. ALAN JEFFERS Says:


  12. Edward Nugent Says:

    WOW, COOL VPAD! I can’t wait to get one.

  13. Dianrez Says:

    Hmm…wonder if it will be distributed free as with the Ojo and the Sorenson products.

    Also, wonder if it will work in my employment wirelessly, same as a Sidekick. My employer uses a very strict security firewall that makes the videophone very hard to use despite excellent tech support on both ends.

    I can imagine in the future the Vpad will become smaller and lighter, same as with most electronics, until we have something like a pocket PC with VP capabilities.

    John Yeh, you have indeed a great product there! Hope your company doesn’t stop innovating! Thanks!

  14. Plato Says:

    Amy – The WiF 802.11 standards are many, for example b is 11mps, while g is 54mps whereas n is 270mps. Intel WiFi chipsets have had 802.11n logic for a few years before being released early last year. There is an a subset, Now they are grouped together in dual bands at 2.5 GHz and 5.0 GHz in current Intel chipsets. There is another standard called WIMAX designed for rural area coverage with about fifty miles around. Thus if VPAD can use the entire WIFI 802.11 standards, it would be a real hot item for sure! If WIMAX is tossed into the simmering pot, rural deaf people would be happy to rejoin us deaf towners!

  15. abcohende Says:

    Edward – yep! I cannot wait to get one…. and I hope their distribution phase will be much organized, and not like Sorenson’s VP200 controversial distribution.

    Dianrez – Free? Perhaps… on the Viable website, it didn’t say anything about free.

    I have a little issue about getting *free* products because it can be dis-empowering for the consumer because when the product breaks down, and I had to wait along with other consumers to get the replacement. If I buy this product, it means that I can buy a stock to this company to support Research & Development to improve future products. Free products can be good for a very specific reason, but not always. People do pay cellphones, or they get free cellphones unless they sign up for 2 year service contract. What about us? Where is our consumer clout? Something to think about.

    Oh, Dianrez, I agree with you that John Yeh did a great job with this product. I truly think that Yeh is so clever to introduce this product at this most important conference to get as much media attention. I am so curious if media will pick up this and publish it. Maybe, who knows, that VPAD might win one of the most innovate product? Who knows?

    Plato – Thank you so much for sharing this important information – it is important that the product must be ahead of the times.. so that it’ll be a real hot item for all of us to get. I just hope that they have plenty to distribute! Will Viable start hiring trainees? That is something we need to think about.

    Another question!

    Will VPAD require all of us to get broadband wireless router in our homes? Many of us have regular routers, but wireless? Does that mean we need to purchase a new router? Oh gosh…

    Or as what Dianrez said, wireless just like Sidekick 3 or Blackberries?

    I am CURIOUS!

    Amy Cohen Efron

  16. C Says:

    I’m guessing free since TRS funds are used for that purpose also – to distribute equipment free of charge to deaf population that can use their equipment. Ojo’s are portable so they don’t care if you have sorenson or dlink. Maybe VPAD will be the same way. We’ll see eh? neat device~

  17. Plato Says:

    There are USB gadgets on the market which add WiFi features to any computer system. I will buy a couple of 802.11n gadgets for my older computers. They can be found on http://www.otherworldcomputing.com for $79.95 each. Recently there was a ten dollar rebate but I think that it expired by now. Yes, there are other different WiFi gadgets for b/g.
    I use an Apple Extreme Wireless Base Station (a true dual band type), ($179.00) hooked to my DSL gateway ( a combo of a phone line modem and a four Ethernet port switch) I hope that this will answer your question. I have been a computer consultant since 1976.

  18. Mary Lou Says:

    Wow!! That is really Kewl!!! But I like to get more information about VPAD.
    Mary Lou :)

  19. abcohende Says:

    C – Ahhh thanks for pinpointing about TRS funds are used for that purpose. I got it.

    Plato – thanks again! Dianrez brought up a good point – if VPAD is able to connect wirelessly just like how we use our Sidekicks or Blackberries… that will be a very, very useful product because I am not too sure if many people would want to purchase another router – for wireless functionality. I am curious about WHAT kind of wireless that VPAD is able to connect with.

    Mary Lou – yeahhhh kewl – and of course I want more information – and been bugging Viable about it.

    Readers – if you have any more questions – please post your questions on my blog because Viable is watching my blog closely and hopefully they can send some kind of press release to answer to most of our questions.

    Viable, are you watching? Don’t party too hard at the conference!

    Oh well, you deserve it!

  20. Louise Says:

    I think it is only fair that deaf people pay for the VPAD and services. The deaf should be treated as equal to hearing people and should pay for their services.
    The company needs to make a profit its not fair to place the burdeon on others.
    We are all intelligent, educated, successful people now all we have to do is BEHAVE as an equal.

  21. abcohende Says:

    Louise – mmmm.. I am more than willing to pay VPAD, and I want to use my money to pay my phone bills and/or broadband internet connection in lieu for services.

    I will be more than willing to pay bit extra for VRI services. Perhaps using the ‘call card’ for VRI services?

    Lots to think about…

  22. Guy Mancini Says:

    I think it’s much to bulky to use, It’s looks like a compaq salvaged lap top

  23. Guy Mancini Says:

    I thought I saw tel212 and badcrotch kissing on that thing

  24. Plato Says:

    Most Blackberries use a slow wireless method which does not allow smooth streaming video streams through it. That is why more and more companies are trying to get faster methods up like 3G, 4G, WiFi, WIMAX, etc on the air as soon as possible to permit video conferencing at decent frame speeds for business needs. You can test your web browsing speeds on your BlackBerries to see how fast they put up pages on your screens. If your BlackBerries have WIFi in them, you would be sort of happy until the traffic catches up, slowing the Internet down at wrong times. Just like a free lunch!

  25. abcohende Says:

    Guy – what is this? If you are not satisfied based on what you see.. bulky and all… jealous?

    Plato – Ahhhh! big hugs from me! So should this VPAD be purely WiFi? Which of these methods is most accessible in many areas including rural areas? What about Sprint’s EVDO network? Is that possible?

    I guess I am clueless… also the Viable gang must be incredibly busy right now showing off their product, and perhaps the paparazzi is taking pictures of this awesome videophone!

    Do you think Viable will allow to distribute this product to families of young Deaf babies/toddlers so that these families can contact with Deaf mentors to keep up with their signing abilities?

    So many possibilities!


    VPAD allows point-to-point calls to VP200, Ojo, DLink, and webcam?

    Who are the beta testers? Who qualifies for beta testers?

  26. SB Says:

    AWESOME!!! Is it carryable to anywhere? Wireless VP?
    I’d rather to have just ONE VP that I can carry with me instead of using Sorenson VP and OJO in my room.
    Is it free. where can I get them?

  27. Plato Says:

    Let the sleeping dogs alone and look for hungry fleas instead to help us clueless outsiders understand what is there under the VPAD covers. It is too early now and I have been chasing a hapless chap who is no technician, oh well! It should be kept in mind that video data is a HUGE mess of pixels in motion and most of you know how long it takes to download a 10 Mb JPEG STILL photograph. It takes about a couple of minutes on my side for example. You can time your downloads of such photographs on your BlackBerries on any transmission method such as EVDO. Until someone cracks a VPAD open to figure how it works, it is useless to do guesswork like a lipreader!

  28. IamMine Says:

    *eyes popping out and rolling on the floor*

    I was prompted by a friend to view your blog but I had to study and write papers due by midnight…but here I am now and drooling!

    I hope to get my hands on them too!


    *pounds on table*

    I want one! I want one!!!

    And NOW!

    *spits on Sorenson*

    But…I’m going to have to come back later and read your questions…. right now I am just admiring the fact that it’s so beautiful and so…. so….

    portable. :D ;)

    Thanks, Amy! :)

  29. brenster- Says:

    When and IF VPADs are available for sale, I’ll buy one. It’s better than waiting to get it for free for a few reasons, one just like you said about if the product is broken, etc… I still have NOT gotten VP-200! Forget Sorenson! Ojo – I got an email from Ojo last September saying that my application was approved and will be sending it to me BUT I haven’t gotten it, yet. I did contact Ojo but it led to no result. Now, it’s my hope that VPADs will be available for sale at reasonable price to push other companies into competitions for faster service!

    VIABLE… MORE information requested ASAP and please don’t make us wait longer :-)

  30. Brendan Steuble Says:

    Hi. I am the manager of the VPAD project for Viable, Inc. We are very excited by the response generated at this year’s CES unveiling. I would like to assure you all that this device is real, exists in quantity, and will be available very very soon: it is not an “idea” or “prototype”.

    Of particular note is the ability of the device to provide Video Remote Interpreting, where if it is in the room and on, a deaf and hearing person can speak to each other. Also, it does not need a “public ip” address, and works inside your office, your hotel, your home, or in a wifi hotspot.

    It is so easy to setup and use that a child or the most technology afraid person can use it.

    Our website will have more details shortly.

    My best wishes to you all and my hopes that this device helps bridge the gap between the deaf and hearing communities.

  31. Brian Guy Says:

    Wow this is the best VP I have ever seen – I am surprised at Guy Mancini and his negative comments – psst – he may work for another VRS service which is quaking in their boots with this new innovation and challenge!!!!

    Well done John Yeh and the team at Viable – to come up with this in less than 2 years puts the other VRS providers to shame and they get my support which was with CSD until they got into a mess :-(

  32. White Ghost Says:

    Put the viable in your laptop bag! :-)

    lemme know how it works well based on the timing.

    I hope it works well. Use the “consumer” thinking.

    White Ghost

  33. Josh Says:

    Hi Amy! I’m certain that this VPAD will have wifi and NOT wireless connectivity. That means people will have to have a broadband wifi router hooked up at their homes or use wifi service that’s provided at popular stores / coffeehouses. They won’t otherwise be able to just “call in” anywhere in the USA. On the other hand, I’m also certain that there’ll be a way to connect the VPAD to an Ethernet network, which is also the same way the VP-100 / VP-200 / DLink / Ojo videophones are hooked up.

  34. David Tucker Says:

    Vpad can work with wimax service by using wimax router. It comes with built-in wifi dhcp.


  35. DEAF WORLD AS EYE SEE IT » VPAD - Video Demo on YouTube! Says:

    […] Still awaiting for answers to my questions from my previous post. […]

  36. Deaf Firefighter’s Blog » Blog Archive » Innovation (and Punishment) in VRS Says:

    […] There’s been a lot of excitement surrounding the recent unveiling of Viable’s VPAD wireless VRS device. Right now, there’s a lot of questions that people have that need to be answered. The best questions I’ve seen so far are from Amy Cohen Efron who does a great job recognizing Viable for their achievement but doesn’t let them get away with the usual marketing hype by asking very pointed questions. –> Link <— […]

  37. Comment from Viable manager on the VPAD « Proud Geek Says:

    […] of the VPAD project at Viable, left the following comment with more info on the VPAD on both Amy Cohen Efron and my blog posts announcing the VPAD.  Thanks, Brendan, and we look forward to getting even more […]

  38. Marc (Darthdeafman) Says:

    hello, I was so impressed to see a new product in USA .. so I have my own videophone from HOVRS.anyway I am just wondering, will It be avaiable in Canada.. so only one videophone avaiable in Canada (HOVRS: hands on video relay service) from USA, I have noticed that USA have more than one videophone companies..anyway about VPAD.. does that come in any colors like as gray or red or whatever ??? is it breakable ??? is it waterproof ?? will it be used to call 911 emergency ??? thank you and you all have a good day

  39. Steve Frank Says:

    Hello Amy Cohen Efron:

    I can across your website when I did a Google search for the Viable VPAD. I see you have information about VRS services.

    I wanted to let you know that our company, Clear View Innovations (CVI), maintains a comprehensive, up-to-date list of VRS and VRI providers with links at:


    Our company provides stationery and portable backdrops for videophone and webcam users.

    Thank you.


    Clear View Innovations
    3216 Abell Ave.
    Baltimore, MD 21218

    410-467-3308 v/relay

  40. GreenBlond Says:

    Watch out for DeafNationTV tomorrow about VPAD!! They are shooting Viable booth there today!

  41. Marcus Aksan Says:

    Is it free? Where can I get them or apply?

  42. peggy bergers Says:

    free VPAD

  43. Helainia Says:

    I wonder it’s free ?
    how i get that apply ?
    i dont have hovrs i wish get one that i did apply that about three months ago i did not heard from them again .

  44. wilma jones Says:

    hello i m deaf lady from ozark ark. i live in country but i try call phone for us so i need vrs and they say wait for few yrs i was upset for it i did help people in areas they have 8 had vrs but i have friend in 3 miles byut phone let them dsl and so but i help them for all open vrs but one not my ares same place but they live north 9 miles in ozark town too my house 9 miles south but only not me i not undy it pls help me if i can get vpad for me pls let me know it emailor my phone ttd xxxxxxxxxxxx (edited) pls god bless smile bye sk

  45. wilma jones Says:

    pls i have webcam with my computer but i try ask for it but my friend ask me why not if see vpad will let my area pls e mail or call me thank wilma jones i am deaf and i am 60 yrs old i have been wait for 2 yrs of sorenson vrs but my phone centurtytel co say wait for few yars but it time for me old lady i miss my old friend not see for 25 yrs i would like to vpad for me pls thank you god bless and smile bye wilma jones

  46. Gabriela Flores Says:

    I am wondering if this is free? I am deaf. How can i apply this? Can I have this instead of vp200?

  47. tiffany zink Says:

    hello, we would like to have vpad euipemtns install here, we need videophone as we dont have one of our own and we have high speed internet here…
    we all are deaf

    thank you,

  48. abcohende Says:


    If you are interested in getting VPAD in your own home, please contact Viable –

    Go to http://www.viable.net and visit the support page. You will be contacting one of the representatives who can assist you.

    I am unable to assist you directly, because I am only a blogger/vlogger reporting the news. It would be best that you contact them directly.

    Amy Cohen Efron

  49. Navyman Says:

    I would like to clarify that the FCC rules regulating the TRS fund does NOT allow reimbursement to VRS companies for costs related to the development, manufacture, and distribution of VP equipment to Deaf/HoH users. In other words, Sorenson does not get a penny from the TRS fund for designing, manufacturing and distributing their VP-100s or VP-200s. Same thing with SnapVRS and their Ojos. The specific rule is spelled out as follows in the FCC rules: “The cost of equipment given to, sold to, and/or used by relay callers, and call incentives are NOT to be reported as expenses”…[for purposes of being allowable for compensation from the TRS fund].

    However, the FCC does not prohibit a VRS company from charging a price for equipment if they choose to do that. If a VRS provider wants to charge a price for their equipment, it’s probably in their best interest to subsidize some of the total cost to make it more widely available to the Deaf/HoH public.

    Another very important point to remember is that Sorenson, SnapVRS and other VRS companies with their own unique equipment cannot prevent Deaf/HoH users from using other VRS companies through those videophones.

  50. abcohende Says:

    Hello Everyone…

    Please do not leave your personal email address, phone numbers or home addresses for Viable to contact you on my blog.

    Please go to http://www.viable.net and click : contact support and you will reach one of the customer support representative. They will help you.

    I cannot help you, and I value your privacy very much.

    Thank you,
    Amy Cohen Efron

  51. judith muschette Says:

    I would like to see what look alike ojo pls send to me about imformantion ok thank u

  52. Richard&Annette Hardy Says:

    i think this is great for deaf people you get to know what is happening and stuff i want to get the Viable’s VPAD 2 for me and my wife

  53. Philip & Rana Sammour Says:

    We both are so anxious to have VPAD. We looking forward to a modern era to the deaf world. We love this idea. So, please send us more info and how we can get VPAD.

    Philip and Rana Sammour

  54. Karen Truther Says:

    Got my VPAD at the Pomona Expo. Like any new Beta Version it has some problems. But the biggest issue is that if you get your VPAD engraved (a free offer at the Expos), VIABLE voids your warranty on the VPAD! (a fact not disclosed to people). My friend, who also got her VPAD at the Pomona Expo, had hers engraved…and now, since she has issues with the VPAD, unrelated to the engraving, she was told she can’t exchange it. She isn’t eligible for any sort of support. Is this Viable’s way of saving money…since, of course there are going to be issues with beta versions. I hope they do the right thing.

  55. Kathy Says:

    hi,Is it with internal battery pack.what is the specification of the internal battery pack.How long can it last.I am now in contact with sean,i will be appreciated it very much if you can provide me more details.It will help use to work out a new external battery pack for VPAD

  56. laura hinton Says:

    i am deaf i want vpad …

  57. Dan Terry Says:

    I’m not a deaf person but I have a son and two grandsons who are deaf. My wife and I have looking for a media to communicate with our son and grandsons live to stay in touch and continue with our sign language skills. How will device help me?

  58. harshad patel Says:

    I YOU see VIABLE good thank you