published Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Chattanooga-based Clarity introduces new cellphone

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A Chattanooga-based maker of amplified telephones on Monday introduced an improved version of its cellphone to appeal to the growing senior population.

Clarity, a division of Plantronics Inc., is launching its "Pal" cell phone for $99.99 each. With 25 decibels of amplification, Pal is targeted at the 36 million Americans with hearing loss.

Jamie van den Bergh, a Clarity vice president who helped develop the new phone as an upgrade to Clarity's first cellphone launched two years ago, said Pal's boost and adjustable tone control buttons give users the option to customize their listening experience to their particular degree of hearing loss.

The new phone also features a large, 2-inch LCD color display with bright, oversized characters. On the back of the phone is a panic button users can push to connect immediately with one of their designated friends or family members to alert them to any emergency.

Carsten Trads, president of Clarity, said most cellphones are intended for younger users.

"While age brings wisdom, it also brings new health concerns like hearing loss, low vision and struggles with dexterity and mobility," he said. "Pal was designed precisely to address these needs."

Clarity began taking orders for the new phone on Monday and will begin shipping the new phone on May 28.

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