Orbit Research has announced the launch of the Orbit Writer braille keypad at the 35th annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference (11th March).
The small keyboard allows blind and partially sighted people to easily enter text in braille on their smartphone or computer and control it completely without having to use touch gestures.
The Orbit Writer weighs less than a hundred grams, and is smaller than modern smartphones allowing it to fit easily in a pocket or purse. Despite its size, it provides an ergonomic Perkins-style braille keyboard. and also includes a cursor keypad for navigation and complete control of the smartphone or computer without using gestures.
The tiny keyboard is coming soon via the Orbit Research website and local providers. The price from Orbit directly will be $99.
The device connects to computers and smartphones over Bluetooth or USB, providing an instant, seamless connection. It can connect to five devices simultaneously over Bluetooth and to one more over USB and allows switching between devices with a simple key combination. High quality scissors keys provide smooth and quiet operation with positive tactile feedback. Haptic (vibration) feedback is also provided for status indications.
The Orbit Writer works out of the box with iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, Amazon Fire tablets, Chromebooks, and Windows, Mac and Linux computers. It can be used to read and send text messages and emails, browse the internet and social media channels, control all functions of the smartphone, tablet or computer and operate all apps.
It is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which provides over three days of operation and charges in under two hours using commonly available USB chargers. A custom case is also available.
Joining Steven Scott, Shaun Preece and Tim Schwartz on Double Tap Canada (12th March) was J.J. Meddaugh from Blind Bargains, who gave us his first impressions of the new device:
This product is the latest addition to Orbit’s family of braille tech including an updated Orbit Reader 20 Plus and a new Orbit 40 cell display.
You can pre-order the Orbit Writer from Orbit Research and read about their other products by visiting www.orbitresearch.com/product/orbit-writer
I am an absolute geek who loves technology. I also happen to be severely sight impaired and that has meant my journey with new technology has been challenging. What I've learnt is what I want to share with others and I do that on air in the UK on RNIB Connect Radio's weekly Tech Talk radio show and podcast, and on AMI-Audio's Double Tap Canada radio show and podcast. I'm also a very lucky husband and the owner of the world's coolest dog!