Are your customers able to talk with staff easily?
If customers can’t easily communicate through safety screens with staff, the impact on your business could be severe; customers who struggle to communicate easily and clearly through these screens may choose other providers. High-quality service is therefore key to encouraging engagement and return visits.
Eliminate barriers to communication
Conversations through safety screens at banks, post offices and other customer-facing businesses simply aren’t effective without a system to aid them. OurSpeech Transfer Systems provide easy communication through these obstacles, providing clear audio to those on both sides of a barrier.
Our noise-cancelling microphones can be placed in a variety of position. When combined with our high-quality speakers and amplifier, the systems ensure one-to-one conversations through glass, plastic or a variety of other partitions can be made as though customers and staff were right next to each other.
Ease of conversation
All our Speech Transfer Systems use full open-duplex technology, allowing both staff and customers to speak simultaneously. This also means no clipping of speech and allows staff to work without distracting manual controls for speech paths.
Many take for granted being able to pop into a shop or supermarket, but shopping can be challenging and, at times, impossible for people with disabilities.
Last week saw the launch of Purple Tuesday, the UK’s first day dedicated to accessible shopping. Tuesday 13th November will see retailers across the country – and the internet – introducing measures to make shopping more inclusive.
75% of disabled people and their families have walked away from a shop or left a website due to poor access and/or poor customer service.
Contacta is excited to announce that our refuelling assistance product, Pinpoint, will change its name to MyHailo on 1st June 2017. The brand new website will also launch on 1st June, including a news service to allow users to receive updates on new service locations.
MyHailo enables users to subtly and easily hail for help from petrol station staff when at the pump. Contacta has received truly fantastic feedback about the product from users showing that it is really life changing for some. “I have been blown away by the system, I would recommend it wholeheartedly – now I have it, I wouldn’t want to be without it”, said one of our customers.
The main advantage of MyHailo is its simplicity. There’s nothing users have to do before arriving at the petrol station. All you need to do is pull up to the pump, and press the button on your MyHailo fob to alert filling station staff that you need assistance. This will prompt the beacon to flash red. The red flashing indicates that your key fob is working and that an alert has been made to let staff know you are waiting. When your hail has been acknowledged by a staff member the beacon will turn green. Someone will shortly be on their way to help you refuel, without the need for you to leave your vehicle.
There will be considerable investment in the product over the next few months to grow the system’s availability further across their Zone of petrol stations in the UK.
The Pinpoint signage and labels will be replaced at all locations over the next 12 months. Existing key fobs will still work with all systems and we will be providing new MyHailo window stickers for all registered Pinpoint key fob holders. Call 01732 22300 or email email@example.com to claim your new MyHailo sticker.
Contacta will be launching MyHailo at the Mobility Roadshow 1st – 3rd June 2017 so be sure to visit our stand, J7, and get your discounted key fob.
2M Audio GmbH is an established Pro-Audio Distributor in Switzerland and is recognised for its extensive knowledge of professional sound systems. As a distributor for D&B Audiotechnik for more than 20 years, they are a leader in high-end PA Systems and have customers across many markets throughout the country including theatres, event locations, conference and corporate venues, and touring companies. 2M Audio pride themselves on their sophisticated solutions and the recent agreement will see Contacta’s range of hearing loop drivers and accessories introduced to their offering.
“We wanted to add well-balanced high quality Pro Audio products to our portfolio to provide them to our customers, AV-integrators and touring companies. The quality of Contacta’s products rival those of the market leader in Switzerland while they offer fantastic value to installers and end users. We also believe that with the support of a brand like Contacta we can ensure better accessibility in a larger number of public and private locations here”, said Stefan Meier, Managing Director of 2M Audio.
The Managing Director of Contacta, Simon Thomas, stated, “we’re excited to expand our export reach with the addition of 2M Audio as an exclusive distributor in Switzerland. What particularly attracted us to working with 2M is their preference to only provide systems of the highest quality and their varied customer base. We know that this will be a prosperous relationship and look forward to doing business with 2M in the coming years.”
There are numerous types of assistive technologies available today, aimed at enhancing accessibility and making everyday tasks a little easier. A piece of technology that improves communication for those that have hearing loss is often referred to as an assistive listening device (ALD). As more and more of these technologies appear, and they become more and more complex, it can be a bit of a headache deciphering which options are best for different scenarios.
Here, we’ll delve a bit deeper into hearing loops and Bluetooth systems. We will cover a bit of history, the technology used, and identify how the main features of each impact the user.
Bluetooth is a wireless communication platform that uses radio waves at high frequency to transfer data between two or more electronic devices. It is a young technology, developed first by telecommunications company, Ericsson, in 1994*.
Bluetooth is now used in numerous applications, one of which is as an ALD. Bluetooth technology cannot be put into hearing aids itself as it requires an enormous amount of power so hearing aid manufacturers make wireless enabled hearing aids and things called streamers (usually worn around the neck or in the pocket) to link them to the Bluetooth device that the user wants to hear clearly.
One advantage of using Bluetooth connectivity is that multiple devices can be connected at any time, enabling you to switch between your phone, tv and tablet if desired.
Now let’s talk loops. Hearing loops, also called induction loops, are a relatively old technology developed officially in 1937 for use with the telephone. This invention was called the telephone coil, which is where the word ‘telecoil’ comes from.
The first hearing aids like those used today, worn behind the ear, with the telecoil were made in the 70’s. Not much has changed since then. Therefore, it is an extremely simple piece of technology with straight forward operation.
A length of wire is laid around the edge of a room or installed in a counter and then connected to a loop driver. This produces a magnetic field. The electromagnetic signal is then picked up by a coil of wire within a hearing device (the telecoil) and converted back to speech or music. This might sound complicated but all a user needs to do is switch their hearing aid or cochlear implant to the “T” setting and they will be able to hear clearly.
A loop reduces background noise and amplifies just the sound source you’d like to hear. It works with your hearing device and is therefore tailored to each and everyone’s own hearing loss.
Hearing Device Compatibility
A large factor in choosing what technology to aid you is the compatibility with your current hearing device. Wireless technology that allows hearing aids or cochlear implants to function with Bluetooth enabled tech are not standard and are often costly solutions. The Bluetooth receiver that you use must be made by the same hearing device manufacturer, meaning if you were to get new hearing aids, there is a chance that it wouldn’t work with your Bluetooth device.
The telecoil is found in almost all NHS provided hearing aids in the UK. An audiologist just needs to activate the telecoil before handing it over to the individual. It is a good idea to remind them to do this!
Although it is universal for a number of applications, Bluetooth is only really useful within the home environment. The Bluetooth receiver will not interact with equipment when you’re out of the house.
Hearing loops, on the other hand, are installed at many venues, shops and public places throughout the UK. The Equality Act 2010 states that all service providers must make reasonable adjustments for those with hearing loss which means there should be a loop in all of them!
Other factors to bear in mind
When using a Bluetooth streamer to watch your favourite soap, you may notice latency. This means that there is a delay from the picture to the sound being relayed to your hearing device. This happens with Bluetooth due to the complex process involved in converting and transmitting the signals from different bits of equipment. Sound from a hearing loop is transmitted to the hearing device in real-time for a superb listening experience.
Bluetooth relies on you remembering to carry around or wear around your neck an extra bit of kit. Once loops have been installed by the venue or at your home then all the user needs to do is switch their hearing aids to the correct setting.
There is often an assumption that newer means better but in this instance we believe simplicity wins over complexity. Simple technology = fewer problems.
At Contacta we design and manufacture loops that are suitable for a variety of settings, whether it be at home or in an amphitheatre or stadium. See our loop range here and talk to us if you’d like to know more.
Founded in 1997, Tau is one of the leading distributors of quality audio products in the Netherlands. It has almost 20 years’ experience installing and distributing hearing loops throughout the region. Tau Audio has an extensive range of AV products from recognised brands in which Contacta is excited to be included.
Tau Audio’s goal is to make the lives of their AV integrators easier by assisting them with designing and commissioning systems.
Tau Audio Solutions have exclusive rights to distribute British built technology from Contacta’s talented in-house design team, to contractors and dealers across the Netherlands. They will be circulating the full range of large area loop products, one-to-one loop systems and loop accessories. Tau are also adding Contacta’s speech transfer systems as a new product range within their repertoire.
Ron Vossen, Managing Director of Tau, released the following statement;
“We are looking forward to working with Contacta and introducing their range of UK-made products into the Netherlands. Their superior in-house design capability and hearing loop expertise make them an excellent fit for us.”
Simon Thomas, Managing Director of Contacta Systems Ltd added;
“We are delighted to be working with Tau Audio Solutions to distribute our products throughout the Netherlands. This is an exciting opportunity for our brand to expand into this region.
With one of the largest Audio Visual exhibitions in the world held at the RAI in Amsterdam every year, the BeNeLux AV market is competitive. The Tau Audio team have demonstrated their wealth of knowledge and experience within this market. Our combined induction loop designing, specification and installation skills acquired over the last few decades will undoubtedly produce great results in this territory.”