People who are deaf and blind typically communicate with others through various means including tactile sign language and usually require a trained interpreter since most people are not familiar with such methods. The Orbit Chat system changes this forever by offering a solution that enables a deafblind person to use their Orbit Reader 20 braille display and an app running on a tablet to communicate with a sighted, blind or deaf person. The system can be used in any situation – in public settings such as markets, restaurants and classrooms or in private conversations.
Through specialized interfaces on Orbit Research’s braille and tactile graphics products and an app that runs on smartphones or tablets, the system connects via Bluetooth to provide the breakthrough ability to converse using a simple chat-style experience.
The system allows a sighted person to use a familiar chat or messaging user-interface to type messages using the tablet’s on-screen keyboard, which is immediately translated and displayed on the deafblind user’s Orbit Reader 20 device in braille. The deafblind user types her messages in braille using the braille keypad on the Orbit Reader 20 and these are translated to plain text and instantly displayed on the tablet. The app is self-voicing which allows a blind person to use it to communicate with a deafblind person without needing any special screen-reading software.
The system also includes other innovative features such as a broadcast mode which allows the deafblind user to send messages to multiple people who have the app installed, the ability to save conversations on the Orbit Reader 20 as well as on the app for later review, a file transfer feature to exchange files between the Orbit Reader 20 and the tablet. The system allows the use of contracted and uncontracted braille in English and offers support for other languages through localization.
This bundled solution provides the most affordable full-featured communication and accessibility solution for people who are deafblind.