Orbit Research has several new products being added to their lineup in the coming weeks including new braille displays, a Bluetooth braille keyboard, and the release of the long-awaited Graphiti tactile graphics display.
Orbit Reader 20 Plus
Orbit Research took the braille display world by storm a few years ago with the release of the original Orbit Reader 20, a device offering access to high quality braille at a fraction of the cost of other displays. Now, they are releasing the Orbit Reader 20 Plus, an expanded device which adds even more functionality to the original Orbit.
First and most notably, the Orbit Reader 20 plus allows on-device translation between braille and text formats in over 40 languages. This enables you to translate between a .txt and a braille-formatted file easily. The 20 plus also now includes new notetaking apps such as a calculator, Calendar, clock and alarm, as well as all the previous features of the original Orbit Reader 20, including rugged construction, high quality braille, and 8-dot braille input.
The Orbit Reader 20 Plus is sold for $699, while the original Orbit Reader 20 is still available for $599. According to Orbit Research s Founder Dr. Gina Spagnoli, Orbit will also offer a program for existing Orbit 20 users who wish to upgrade to the new 20 plus, though details of that program have not been released.
The Orbit Reader 20 Plus can be purchased now from Orbit Research for $699.
Orbit Reader 40
Orbit research has also introduced a 40 cell version of the Orbit Reader, which also includes cursor routing keys. In addition to all the note taking and braille display features of the Orbit reader 20, it also includes the new translation features and applications found on the Orbit reader 20 plus.
Translate to and from braille in over 40 languages, and set easy configuration profiles for several of your most-used languages. The new clock, alarm, calendar and calculator applications allow support for many of the most common notetaking features. Use the display as a standalone reader or writer/editor, or as a braille display in conjunction with windows, macOS, iOS, Chrome OS, and more.
The orbit writer is a standalone braille keyboard that is smaller than most smartphones. It can be paired to up to 5 bluetooth and 1 USB device at a time, with the ability to quickly switch between them.
In addition to allowing you to use the braille keyboard to enter text on any device, it also has a cursor keypad allowing you to interact with your phone, computer, or tablet without using gestures. Tactile feedback is provided through the keyboard, and Haptic, vibration, feedback is used to indicate status alerts and battery status.
The Writer can be attached to a lanyard, though there is also a custom carrying pouch available.
Orders are expected to ship by late June.
The graphiti has long been under development and has been shown in prototype at numerous other conferences. Check out this 2017 interview with APH demonstrating a prototype of the unit as well as its features.
The Graphiti is a 60 40 display. However, rather than displaying braille as does a traditional display, the Graphiti is intended for displaying graphical images. This device allows blind and visually impaired individuals in and outside the classroom to have unparalleled access to tactile graphics in a truly unprecedented way.
The display, featuring new Tactuator technology specifically developed by Orbit research, allows blind and visually impaired users to load graphical files onto an sd card or memory stick, and connect to a phone, computer, tablet, or Orion TI-84 Plus Talking Graphing Calculator to view images and graphs. Each pin has variable height, allowing for users to approximate shading, color, or relative position with the touch of their fingers. The device can be used to view maps, floor plans, graphs or charts, images and even photographs.
Additionally, the Graphiti also features a drawing interface, allowing the user to trace a shape on the device which will then show up tactilly on the display. Touch gestures also allow interacting with and moving parts of a drawing or graph.
Multiple Graphitis can be linked, allowing a drawing or map on one display to instantly show up on other connected units as well. An interface for connecting to a smart blackboard or tablet in the classroom also enables teachers and students to share visual information quickly.
The Graphiti will be sold for $15,000 at this time, with eventual plans through volume sales to get the cost down to $5000 or below. Orbit directs interested parties to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay tuned to Blind Bargains for podcast coverage of the new Orbit Research products coming soon.Source: orbit research
Do the new Readers 20 Plus and Reader 40 still produce the same characteristic noise when moving Braille cells? Is this noise still bearable on the 40-cell device?
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Tangela Mahaffey is a barely reformed English Major currently residing in Colorado. She reads entirely too many fantasy books and takes almost nothing seriously, including herself. She loves technology, music, writing, puns, and cats. She can be reached on twitter @tmmahaff