AIM Opens Real-Time IM Feature

    January 15, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Through work with Galludet University and the University of Wisconsin’s Trace Center, AOL crafted a new deafness-friendly feature for AIM.

The latest beta version of AIM, 6.8, includes the new real-time text feature. It has been developed to provide an improved instant messaging experience for those with hearing impairments.

AOL described the updated AIM client as providing a natural flowing IM experience for those opting to use the feature. According to AOL, the National Institutes of Health estimate more than 32 Americans have varying degrees of hearing loss.

In simple terms, the real-time feature displays each letter to the recipient as it is typed by the sender. This simulates the dynamics of a spoken conversation, without one person needing to wait for the other to hit the Send button.

“This is a big win for AOL and the deaf community since the use of real-time text is receiving increased attention as a necessary equivalent to voice communication for consumers with disabilities,” Tom Wlodkowski, AOL Director of Accessibility, said in a statement.

To use the new feature, both people conducting an IM session will need to have the version of AIM with real-time IM available.