The Countdown To The Resurrection

The Countdown Begins In Search of

5: What’s Up With HOVRS’ MVP?

Posted by ridor9th on November 17, 2008

After GoAmerica swallowed HOVRS and Verizon TRS, they did not stop as they went on their way to purchase two major interpreting agencies in Washington, DC area in an attempt to control the interpreters from working for other VRS companies.

Yes, HOVRS bought Sign Language Associates (SLA) and Visual Language Interpreting (VLI).  To me, it is a brilliant strategic move on GoAmerica’s part in an attempt to control and suffocate the competitors from getting more interpreters to work for their companies.  For your information, SLA has offices in Denver, Tampa, Richmond (Va) and Frederick (Md) as well.

However, HOVRS has been drumming up the beat about its so-called Mobile Video Phone also known as MVP at many functions including DeafNation Expos and ASLExpo for the last couple of years.

I think the lingering question on everyone’s mind is:  When?

HOVRS has claimed that its MVP is better than Viable’s VPAD and VPAD Plus, CSDVRS’ The Z and so on.  But none of us has yet to *see* the equipment out in full force.

HOVRS has dispatched the employees to woo Deaf customers all over the place — cyberspace and in person to talk about MVP.  They went on to trash Viable of their VPADs repeatedly.

Yes, Viable VPAD is not perfect.  But that is why they named the Viable VPAD as Beta version — the original purpose of Beta version is to give the VPADs to the customers so that Viable could hear the feedbacks to weed and fix the glitches that may come with the VPAD itself.

Listen carefully — Viable VPAD was designed and funded by whom?  Deaf people.  Then they gave it to the customers to test and play around and throw feedbacks to Viable in order to enhance the 2nd part:  Viable VPAD Plus.

Makes sense, right?

HOVRS has yet to release MVP in the last couple of years.  They already talked about how good it is — how better it is than VPAD — how it will trumpets VPAD and The Z — and they had NOT gotten around to release the damned piece in the first place!

Don’t you think it is audacity of HOVRS to trash Viable repeatedly at events about its product when they had not released its own god-damned MVP in the first place?

It was supposed to release about two years ago, then it got delayed.  Then delayed.  The last time I heard was that they planned to release it in 2009.

Perhaps, they found many glitches in this particular product that they had to delay the release of MVP all along?

But that does not stop them from traashing VRS companies’ products repeatedly — especially with Viable VPAD and Viable VPAD Plus.  HOVRS may deny the allegations that they trash-talked about Viable VPAD but one can view this particular video where HOVRS’ Jonathan Hughes has talked about how MVP is better than VPAD starting at 5:34.

Frankly, let’s face the reality here:  Viable 2, HOVRS 0.

Viable, is small VRS company run of, by and for Deaf people, has already released not one but two products:  VPAD and VPAD Plus.  VPAD, as expected, went through the trial period where they received enormous feedbacks from the customers and in the process, they have upgraded the VPAD.  So far, it has improved and satisfied the customers in the process.

VPAD Plus is the 2nd product that includes the wifi service and browser as well.

Again, both products were designed and funded by whom?  Deaf individuals.

As for HOVRS’ MVP, which is owned by GoAmerica with millions of dollars in profits?  The MVP was not designed by Deaf people.  In fact, they collected the feedbacks and turned to a contractor to design and manufacture — I heard it was LeadTek Corporation — which, as of today, is still fixing the glitches which has been delaying the product from day one.

What alarmed me the most lately is the antics that HOVRS has been doing to the customers — they are telling the customers that if they wanted free MVP, they need to register for HOVRS on its website and to make sure that they use HOVRS in to be ranked on some list in order to get the MVP.

This is shrewd move on HOVRS’ part in an attempt to rack the minutes to make money off from FCC.  I received several emails and VP calls from Deaf friends who said that they were contacted by HOVRS employees telling them that they need to register and start calling HOVRS in order to be “ranked” on the HOVRS’ list in order to get MVP!

I personally suspected the main reason why the HOVRS is doing this is to rack up the minutes in order to get the funds from FCC in order to compensate the company that is correcting the glitches with MVP which they are dealing with so far.

But there is no proof as of now.  It is all about speculations.  The whole thing is that people who lives in glass houses should not throw stones.  You see, HOVRS trashed Viable’s products and they had no product to start with.

Get this picture?  Tsk, tsk!



NEXT:  No, You Cannot Use This Sign Because I Own It!


40 Responses to “5: What’s Up With HOVRS’ MVP?”

  1. Disagree said

    A couple of years? Ha!

    You think that the VPad is designed by the deaf people? I know for sure that you need to check your sources. Obviously very limited ones.

    Haha! (I should say, LOL)

  2. Deaf Anonymous said

    As was the case with the VP-100 and VP-200, the VPAD, the MVP, the Ojo and the Z (sue me if any left out) some of you on both side of this spat need to understand that the hardware and underlying software was created by hearing people. VRS-specific software and other aspects were designed by both deaf and hearing people. This was collaborative. Viable contracted with a Korean company and you can learn of this at

  3. ridor9th said

    DA: Actually, the VPAD was designed by Deaf individuals — I know that is a fact — and they hired a contractor to build the equipment. That is what happened with Viable’s VPAD.

    Unlike MVP.


  4. Deaf Anonymous said

    I’m aware Deaf individuals from Viable designed ViableVRS software designed to work with the VPAD manufactured by SBNTech in Korea.

    This is not any different than software company personnel working on software co-existing with computers made by others.

    Are you saying Deaf individuals in Korea designed and built the SBNTech-branded *hardware* called “VPAD”

    Are you saying Deaf individuals in Korea designed and built the generic (other than ViableVRS) software as seen on SBNTech-branded “VPAD”

  5. Boris said


    As you already know that many Deaf people do have a lot of videophones such as VP-200, OJO, VPAD, MVP, and Z. We may see new videophone model in the market. Who knows? I am trying to reduce a lot of new videophones at home. I really do not want to see my room as computer lab. Therefore, I do not want to have my list of different phone numbers. I prefer to have one or two phone numbers instead of 5 or whatever.

  6. ridor9th said

    DA: All I’m saying is that the Deaf workers at Viable was the ones who designed the VPAD and submitted to SBNTech to manufacture.

    That’s it.


  7. Just Saying said

    About the MVP program, maybe Mr. Singleton should reread this from the FCC:

    “We therefore reaffirm the 2005 Financial Incentives Declaratory Ruling and the 2005 TRS Marketing Practices PN, and reiterate that providers seeking compensation from the Fund may not offer consumers financial or other tangible incentives, either directly or indirectly, to make relay calls. Such incentives include sweepstake giveaways (e.g., the relay user earns chances to win a prize with each call made), sponsorships tied to service usage, charitable contributions by a provider based on calls made, charitable contributions or other gifts or payments by a provider based on failure to meet specific performance standards (e.g., if a call is not answered within a specific period of time, a contribution will be made to a third party organization), and offering financial incentives or rewards to register with the provider, add the provider to the consumer’s speed dial list, or to become a provider’s “VIP” customer.”

  8. Just Me said

    For some reasons, I’m glad you brought this up because I attended 14 Deaf Expo (DeafNation and ASL Expo). On EVERY Saturday (show), I always stop by MVP’s booth and asked them…when? They said…soon soon soon. I completed 14 Saturdays (nearly one year); same message? Its like more than 2 years why holding and…we should focus on VPAD, Sorenson and CSDVRS because they release anytime except for MVP.

  9. Disagree said

    Wow, you got all facts mixed up. Contracted with SKorean company and allow deaf engineers to design the preferences and its features. Not another way around.

  10. anonymous of course said

    Um, Viable isn’t Deaf-owned. Yeh sold it to 3 hearing investors. Hawk is the only one left.

  11. Oh, brother! said

    COME ON! Let the FCC sort any bad business of VRS and the taking of TRS funds. The HOVRS PURPLE crap promotion to force people to use VRS time and TRS funds to sign up to watch HOVRS i.e. Mösdeux Films was criminal activity, in my opinion. It openly baited people who were forced to make a TRS call and charge minutes to the FCC TRS to sign up for a opportunity to see a series of videos that Mösdeux produced for HOVRS. That’s dead wrong! If HOVRS wants to contract with Mösdeux and make some films to feature that’s great. Provide those films as FEEE incentive to sign up for HOVRS service – that’s great. Provide viewing those films ONLY IF you use or sign up for HOVRS service…tsk, tsk, tsk – that’s not best practice. It’s against the law. Sorry HOVRS and Mösdeux. I thin you’re both a party to criminal activities.

  12. wait said

    Viable is operating by almost entirely Deaf people. Also, runs VRS, and ALSO own VPADs products. Hawk Relay is just marketing. Hawk Relay even own a NON-videophone product. Right, you heard me, no videophones! 🙂

    I can’t think of any company that runs VRS, own videophone products, in-house administrators, in-house tech supports, in-house marketing, Deaf cookers to feed 100+ Deaf people, Deaf cleaner (I ain’t no kidding–You should seen in building!), etc.. the majority number of deaf people except Viable!

    For once of all, I suggested you to visit Viable company and see exact what you will expect from them. I visited Hovrs, Sorenson, and CSDVRS. No one even that close to Viable!

    Do you think it’s easy to find job if hearing company doesn’t wanted you ?

  13. former Hovrs employee said

    To sum up the comments discussed in this post.

    Viable started with only 3 deaf people, John Yeh, Jason Yeh, and Lawrence Berke and few years later they have more than 100 employees. The 3 founders are deaf. Lawrence Berke is one of great mind behind the whole videophone technology and engineering.

    Viable did hire a team to design a product. Do we have a deaf company that can create product. No, not yet. Hope sometime in future we will have one of our own. So, they submitted to a company in Korea.

    Again, the Viable+ was a contribution of deaf people doing through crowdsourcing concept.

    Yes, HOVRS is racking up the minutes. They have this certain call number where the HOVRS representatives will ask their customer to call that number to hear the message off the record.

    The district managers and the senior managers will get agiated when the number is low and will tell the Hovrs representatives to make their customer call this numbers so that they can rack up the minutes.

    Why, can’t they create a video message where we can dial and view. This is a limitation on their part. They are motivated by greedy and profits.

    Soon, soon, soon is a bad strategy. How long is soon. The HOVRS representatives are trained to parrot the line, “soon.” To be honest the Hovrs representatives are clueless about the MVP too. The MVP was supposed to be released in July and then delayed to August. It was quickly ceased by the upper management team and hold up. Their reason of delay was that there are lot of bugs in the MVP.

    HOVRS jumped their gun and the longer they wait and the more mistakes they made.

    If you did sign up for the MVP and placed in the waiting line. You will notice the change because few of their marketing messages were wrong. Result of MVP’s viral marketing and hope it will increase customer base. With increased customer base, it translate more profits but they end up with more spammers instead. And those spammers will join up on their MVP when it is turned on. There is no such of a spam prevent among the HOVRS product.

    I hope the VRS industry are reading this blog and learn from a valuable tips from their customers who are often right.

  14. Areumoron said

    It imply to the computer world! Hovrs is like Apple Macintosh and the other vrs providers are like IBM. IBM quickly release the products with full of viruses, problems, etc. Apple wait til all is clear up then release the product, same concept goes to Hovrs.


  15. Just A Passerby said

    Dear Ricky Taylor,

    Have you ever seen the MVP with your own eyes? In your article, you are giving me the impression you never did. You repeatedly said that HOVRS has yet released its great product and is in the progress of fixing glitches on it. That’s impossible… HOVRS may haven’t started distributing this product but they have always put it on display at events. I have seen the MVP a couple of times myself, and the HOVRS employees were always demonstrating it, allowing customers to get their own taste of a fancy deaf-friendly gadget. When being asked questions, the employees were more than happy to answer, be it to both positive AND negative questions. As for the release date, why can’t you be patient? I don’t know if you’re a PC or MAC user (and I don’t care if you’re either) but Windows is always announcing a new Operating System way before the release date… However, there are beta versions of Windows, but not of the HOVRS MVP, that I know of.

    Think twice (maybe thrice, in your case) before you go ahead and type an article out of foolishness.

    Just A Passerby

  16. ridor9th said

    JAP: You’re coward for addressing me in anonymous manner. Your comments … I already covered that earlier so what is YOUR point? They had been delaying for more than 2 years. And this is getting ridiculous. Give it up — if you must defend HOVRS, have some balls to use your own real name.


  17. […] to call on soresnson 200vp score $$$ you get hovrs paycheck and no mvp? crapppp lookie here 5: What’s Up With HOVRS’ MVP? The Countdown To The Resurrection more […]

  18. ridor9th said

    JAP: Your comments was taken offline. Let’s see whether if you like it or not. You may clamor for your so-called freedom of speech but this is MY blog, I reserve the right to take it off.

    It is utterly amusing to note that whether I post an entry criticizing the HOVRS’ motives — you had to go after my personal life. Your assumptions about my background is hysterical and lamest at its best.

    People like you who attempted to smear one needs to examine themselves in the process.

    Oh, by the way, I know you defended HOVRS because you worked for ’em.


  19. Just A Passerby said

    Ricky, you went after my personal life when you called me a coward. You crossed the line by trying to insult my personal identity. Why wasn’t I allowed to talk about yours since you always mention it in your entries? Face it… you have no job, that’s why you’re writing blogs, making vlogs, commenting on other people’s blogs and trying to destroy their self-esteem. You are just a sick person.

    Be sure to mention one thing to your therapist the next time and that’s to learn how to not to jump to conclusions. I didn’t defend HOVRS because I worked for them. I defended HOVRS because you’re childish in criticizing a company that’s soaring to big success. Why did I tell you to use the Z and VPAD? I wouldn’t say that if I worked for HOVRS. I’m going to say this again — Stupid fool.

    And took my comments offline? That proves how much of a coward you are. That’s fine with me, as long as I know that my comments did get through to you. You wouldn’t take them off your blog if you weren’t offended by them. It’s the real world, baby. Accept criticism for once.

  20. A Sorenson Employee said

    JAP: Just quit defending HOVRS. Even though that Ridor is against SorensonVRS, he never attempted to go after any of my and my co-workers’ personal lives. The point is that he never mention anything about those who work for HOVRS and/or SorensonVRS. When Ridor is against a company, then he’s against the COMPANY itself, not against the PEOPLE who work for the company. So, quit insulting and going after my friend’s personal life and start minding your own business. HOVRS is the worst VRS provider out there. Just admit it, ok and stop defending a company that you don’t work for. HOVRS is probably not going to release their so-called MVP for another year or two. The long wait is getting ridiculous while SorensonVRS, Viable and CSDVRS already have released their products without telling their customers HOVRS’-famous-saying, “Soon, soon, soon.”

    So… get a grip, pal.

  21. wait said

    Areumoron Says:
    November 19, 2008 at 2:07 am
    It imply to the computer world! Hovrs is like Apple Macintosh and the other vrs providers are like IBM. IBM quickly release the products with full of viruses, problems, etc. Apple wait til all is clear up then release the product, same concept goes to Hovrs.


    To be clarify, you means, Microsoft, not IBM ?

  22. Just A Passerby said

    A Sorenson Employee- I pity you for being friends with this Ricky Taylor. You cannot think of positive things either. Ever heard of business ethics? You work at Sorenson, be happy. Be a sport and worry about your own company. Sorenson is already one of the most popular companies in the U.S. for deaf people. Let HOVRS have a chance. Unfortunately, you cannot do that because you’re just like Ricky.

    Oh, and, you’re saying that you’re friends with him but why are you using a different username? What a true friend you are.

  23. Oh Boy said

    Just A Passerby: Come on. A Sorenson Employee made a point. You lost. Accept. And move on. =D

  24. Just A Passerby said

    Oh Boy- how did A Sorenson Employee make a point? He criticized my defending of HOVRS. The whole point of me being here was to tell Ricky to be positive about the MVP. So, be careful when you read something like this. You can get yourself into a lot of trouble. Also, I pity YOU too for being on Ricky’s side.

  25. Oh Boy said

    Just A Passerby: He was not criticizing you. He was making a point that Ridor was talking about the company itself, not people. You came in here to defend about ‘people’ in first place. You are the one that’s criticizing us that we “people” are Ridor’s readers. Too bad that Ridor wrote about HOVRS and you know that HOVRS suck. You’re defending it the wrong way and you’re taking everything the wrong way. Like I said – You lost. Accept. And move on. =D

    and btw, you are not ‘just a passerby’. You are just another idiot visiting Ridor’s site. Just accept. =P

  26. A Sorenson Employee said

    Oh Boy: THANK YOU! :o)

    JAP: Ridor even wrote an entry about the company that I work for some weeks or months ago and that entry which he wrote about SorensonVRS was harsh enough. We didn’t take it the wrong and we were grateful for that piece of blog. It helps us improve our service. We DO listen. Everybody have the right to their opinion. :o)

  27. Truthseeker said

    Hey Ridor, when are you going to tell us about your deal with Viable to advertise their company and talk trash about other companies?

    I applaud your business wisdom in getting the deal! Viable was smart in using you to badmouth their rivals! This is shrewd move on Viable’s part in an attempt to rack the minutes from looking good while letting you get blamed for misinformation.

    I can’t wait till next blog to see what other twisted Viable have told you about HOVRS and others! Keep up the good work in getting more deals for your blog.

  28. Just A Passerby said

    LMAO, Truthseeker. 🙂

  29. Oh, brother! said

    The VRS TRS biz is maybe now to a point where the FCC cannot keep up with the straight business conducted, the promotion/advertising of companies/services, and the promotion (quazi-advertising – PR) of same.

    It boils down to minutes used by consumers.

    Use the service and the client benefits and the service provider profits.

    VRS TRS Service providers CAN inflate minutes intentionally – that’s criminal. One grey area is keeping hearing folks on “Hold” WITH an interpreter WAITING for a deaf respondent. The minutes pile up until the deaf respondent is available, and VRS providers can control that because they provide the interpreter link.

    The FCC, because of the current economy and gov’t funding cuts and this blog, will catch on.

    tsk, tsk…

  30. Oh Boy said

    Truthseeker: nothing’s wrong with a person who doesn’t agree with VRS companies. he can have a say in this if he wants to. how do you know if Viable was feeding him information? how do you know Ridor’s sources? Ridor will never speak who’s the sources. the fortune ball doesn’t exist. you must have watched too many movies. i applaud your wisdom on your recent comment. psh. maybe his next blog will be about you. =)

  31. Deaf Anonymous said

    Look forward to #4

  32. Oh, brother! said

    It’s worse than ever.
    Deaf people are home a lot glued to VRS, VP or e-mail.
    The calls once made on TTY are now made on VRS.
    Additionally we make VP calls to friends.
    Home or way we’re still glued to e-mail on BB, Sidekick or another device.
    Outside it’s hard to get quality interpreters in real-life, community settings.
    Where’s the quality 1-to-1 and group ASL time?
    Sorry to observe it but the downfall of ASL/Deaf culture and our lives in general is not from the non-ASL hearing world it’s from this so-called technology. It’s not bringing us closer together – it’s tearing us even farther apart from the core of our existence.
    The other observation is that Deaf people are getting separated from each other. Loneliness, boredom and isolation among deaf people is rampant right now.

  33. Deaf Anonymous said

    Where are you, Ridor? Are you alright?

    Look forward to 4: No, You Cannot Use This Sign Because I Own It!


  34. Deaf Republican said

    Hope this finds you well.

    Miss your blog. Don’t leave us in the dark too long.


  35. Brendan said

    Come on. We all know that you’re just trying to plug Viable because your sister works there and you’re hoping they’ll hire you. Eveybody who has used the VPAD knows it’s a piece of shit.

    I have not yet seen the MVP but I bet it will blow away the VPAD when it is finally released to the public.

  36. Hey… great blog.. I just added it to in the Deaf Blogs section. Hope you had a great holiday.

  37. -Ridorisstupidassandfat said


    As much as I hate Ridor, he is correct. HOVRS is empty and nothing. They kept proming us that they will release MVP, and called me, forced me to sign HOVRS up, and made me call HOVRS. Two years later, still no MVP.

    Ridor also told people how VPAD does not impressed him and how Z-Model is the best choice. So Brendam, we know your claim is moot.

  38. gregory said

    i heard that people said mvp never get mvp has delay alway never said sooner did not come yet i not know when they said till mvp get free for tll june 2009 has waste my on time sooner feb 2009 but charge delay next til june 2009 i dont understand why i am not complain
    mvp purple has holded they has fix for mvp for picture smile sorry people deaf is complain that why i do not care about mvp i can wait to be patience smile ……. thnak you

  39. Deaf Anonymous said

    Hope you’re doing well lately. I want to mention something. A representative from Purple Communications called me and claimed 800,000 units of the MVP will be distributed. Any truth to this? By the way, I read somewhere a mention that, the previously used domain name expired on February 12, 2009. Hope you’ll do something about this!

  40. Get A Life! said

    Umm… A lot crisis about different videophone devices. Actually I don’t care whichever is better or worse. The most important for deaf people to have excellent communication needs.
    I don’t likes to judge others. Pointless…. Whether people like a devices or not. It their decisions. The most main important is 1) interpreter quality, 2) video quality, 3) fast answer, and 4) No buggin in the device system.
    My options: VPad pointless because once you buy this device and have to buy battery which isn’t include. Sorenson not bad, sometimes buggin (unfortunately not mobile) . I never have Z-340, I heard and saw it, nice tho. MVP delays for for some reasons. I saw it and touched MVP, actually nice device. It has touch screen and etc… I think HOVRS company wants to improves their device instead release a device which “bugging”. I’ve not see HAWK’s device yet. Looking forward to see it.
    I would likes to have mobile video phone not as big as Z-340 or MVP. You noticed Japaneses has a nice video mobile that could see each other while chatting on a video. It awesome! Easy to carry and put into pocket. I desires to have that kind of video mobile. 😀

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