Wednesday, January 2

BrailleNote deaf blind solutions

Greetings. I received the following announcement from an email list regarding a product for the BrailleNote. After reading this, it sounds to me like HumanWare (HW) is trying to play catch up again with the PAC Mate's deaf blind solutions that were released a few years ago. However, I'm glad that HW is giving more options to their customers. I've heard of a number of deaf blind people that use the BrailleNote that have probably been waiting for just such an announcement. Enjoy and pardon any formatting errors.

DeafBlind Communicator to Tap the Power and Simplicity of KeySoft

 The DeafBlind Communicator (DBC) is being designed to provide a simple
to handle TTY communications and to be a portable way to deal with
face-to-face communications.

A simple conversation approach is provided through an intuitive Chat
which is automatically entered when the DBC is first turned on. When in
conversation, whether it's Face to Face or TTY, the way you communicate

Our goal is to produce a DeafBlind Communicator that is simple and
forward which any Braille user can learn to use with minimal training.

Hidden Applications Activated
 We realize that some deafblind people will want to do more or grow into
doing more than basic communications, so we have built the DBC on a much
more powerful platform that offers additional capabilities. A secondary
for the DBC is to ensure that any user can choose to activate other,
powerful applications (initially hidden from the user), which provide
to the kinds of capabilities and functions available in mainstream
technology (note the list below).

Main Menu
Word processor
Address list
Media center
Book reader
Scientific calculator
Database manager
File manager
Terminal for screen reader
Remote synthesizer
Keyboard learn

KeySoft, the environment (user-interface) that is used in the DBC, is
same one used in the BrailleNote and has reached its celebrated
through over twenty years of constant improvement. Once a user chooses
activate the full-blown features of the DBC, the Chat Menu noted above
becomes one of the applications listed in the Main Menu. From that menu,
simple press of the character "C" instantly takes you to the KeyChat
and from there everything "looks" exactly the same as the basic DBC.

We plan to start accepting orders in April and shipping in June 2008.

The basic DBC will have many similarities to the TeleBraille in both
and function. Although the KeySoft user interface will "feel" somewhat
different from that of the TeleBraille, it is still very easy to use. Of
course, if the user chooses to activate the more powerful features, the
will be a fully functional BrailleNote that includes TeleBraille-type

The BNPK will not support the DBC. Unfortunately, the PK does not have a
landline connection on it to enable TTY communications. Also, the
BrailleNote mPower, on which the DBC is based, has significantly more
and power to handle the added functions of the DBC.

The DBC will not include the screen reader Mobile Speak Pocket (MSP).
All of
the functions relating to the cell phone (DB Companion) will be
from the DB BrailleNote. As noted above, if the user chooses to activate
full functionality of the BrailleNote applications, the DB BrailleNote
becomes a fully functional PDA on its own that does not require the
complexity of a screen reader or any other additional software.


  1. Anonymous10:29 AM

    it is quite interesting. do you have any pictures of that tech device?

  2. No, sure don't. Since this device is to come out in the April-June period, keep watching the HumanWare site and they will likely put up pictures when the device is ready. The BrailleNote is already out, and has been since 2000. I don't off hand remember any hardware to go along with the announced deaf-blind solutions, just software. So, I'm really not sure what "device" you're referring to. And, to anyone who is reading this, please put a name, yours or a fictional one, on your comments instead of annonymous. Thanks.

  3. Anonymous7:32 PM

    my daughter just lost her hearing and is blind can she use her braille note with her cell phone to read her text messages in braille