This application works on Android version 4.4 or higher

You can update after every 3 months

  • Enables face-to-face communications between a deaf-blind individual and a sighted, blind or deaf individual
  • Allows the deaf-blind individual to communicate without an interpreter, just by using an Orbit Reader 20 braille display and an Android smartphone or tablet
  • In any situation where a deaf-blind individual (the “user”) wishes to communicate with another person (the “friend”) without an interpreter
  • In an office, market, bus-stop, restaurant or anywhere else
  • The app is downloaded and installed onto a smartphone or tablet.
  • The app is run and a one-time connection operation is performed with the user’s Orbit Reader 20 device. These two steps may require help from a sighted person.  But from this point onwards, no intervention is required.
  • The user then carries the smartphone or tablet with them and when they wish to converse with a friend, they turn it on hand them the smartphone or tablet.
  • As soon as the phone or tablet is turned on, it opens the Communicator app
  • The user’s Orbit Reader 20 is already connected via Bluetooth to the app
  • An introductory message is presented on the screen of the app to the friend: “Hello, I am deaf-blind.  I would like to talk with you through this app.  Please tap the OK button to start the conversation.  You can see in blue text what I type on my device.  Please type using the on-screen keyboard and I will be able to see it on my device in braille and can respond to you
  • From that point, the conversation continues like in a simple chat application, shown in the picture above.
  • The app does not require Talkback or Voiceover to function
  • It is self-voicing and the speech output can be turned on or off through the on-screen menu
  • At the end of the conversation, the friend hands back the phone or tablet to the user, who turns it off until the next occasion.
  • The app connects over Bluetooth with the Orbit Reader 20
  • When they user types a message on the Orbit Reader and the dot-8 key (Enter) is pressed, the message is transmitted to the phone or tablet and instantly displayed on the app
  • When the friend types a message on the app and taps the Enter key on the on-screen keyboard, it is transmitted to the Orbit Reader 20 and instantly displayed
  • The user can continue to do their other work in between chat messages. New messages from the friend will pop up when they are received and the user may choose to respond or ignore them.
  • The conversation can be saved on the Orbit Reader 20 as well as on the app for later review
  • A file transfer feature is also available to exchange files between the Orbit Reader 20 and the phone or tablet
  • A broadcasting mode allows a deaf-blind user to send messages to multiple people who have the app installed
  • Entry of text in English Contracted Braille is also available
  • Other languages can also be supported through localization
  1. The product is available NOW and is FREE! It can be downloaded from the Google Play store.
  2. An Android version is available at this time. In the future we may introduce an iOS version also
  3. A bundle consisting of an Orbit Reader 20, an Android tablet, and the app pre-loaded is also available for $969 (retail). This is by far the most affordable communications solution available for deaf-blind individuals, by an order of magnitude.
  • There are no similar products that are actively supported in the market
  • There are solutions which cost thousands of dollars
  • An app solution from Humanware costs hundreds of dollars, are unstable and available only for iOS, and depends on voiceover, making it difficult to use. It also requires a Humanware notetaker to be purchased, which costs over $5000.
  • An app solution from HIMS is also unstable. It also requires a HIMS notetaker to be purchased, which costs over $5000.

The Orbit Chat is extremely simple to setup and use and is completely stable.  It does not depend on Voiceover or Talkback

Please contact us with the serial number for the Orbit Reader unit(s) which you plan to use with Orbit Chat at techsupport@orbitresearch.com along with following information:

  1. Your Name :
  2. Address :
  3. Email Address :
  4. Phone number :
  5. Organization (If you represent an organization) :

We will send you the license number over email within 3 business days.

For our internal purposes, we wish to know the actual numbers of users who are using the platform. We wish to collect feedback from them as well.

You can also send/receive a file from the Android device to the connected OR-20 unit and vice-versa using the Orbit Chat. It supports the transfer of TXT, BRF, BRA, and BRL file types.

Note: File transfer from Orbit Teacher to OR20 and vice versa is not allowed when OR-20 Bluetooth broadcast mode is enabled.

A.1 Transfer a file from Orbit Chat to OR-20

  • To send a file from Orbit Chat to the connected OR-20 unit, go to the Options menu à Send a file.
  • The Orbit Chat will open the system default file browser
  • The file browser may not show the internal storage to the first-time user. To view internal storage in the file browser, go to the options menu (Top right of file browser) à “Show internal storage”.
  • After selecting a file, the Orbit Chat opens a dialog box for confirmation. Click on “Yes” to send a file to the connected OR-20 unit. OR-20 unit should display the confirmation message.
  • Press dot 8 on OR-20 for receiving files from the Orbit Chat Application or press dot 7 on the OR-20 unit to reject the request.
  • The progress of the file transfer is shown through the progress bar and completion is indicated by a message saying “File transfer complete”.

A.2 Transfer a file from OR-20 to Orbit Chat 

  • 1.1 On OR-20 browse to a file from the file manager and press the “Space + Dots 1-3-6-7” key combination to send a file from the OR-20 unit to a connected Android device.
  • 1.2 Orbit Chat should open a dialog for confirmation.
  • 1.3 Press the “Yes” button for receiving a file from the OR-20 unit or press the “No” button to reject the request.
  • 1.4 The completion of the file transfer is indicated by a message saying “complete”.

Broadcast mode allows OR-20 to be connected with up to 7 Orbit Chat application running on android over Bluetooth and send the typed message to all the connected Orbit Chat applications. This way you can send a message to multiple Android phones simultaneously. This feature can be enabled from OR-20.Turning on/off Broadcast mode on OR-20

Broadcast feature of OR-20 can be turned on/off by hotkeys “Space + b” or “Space + Dots 1 2”. It shows the message “Broadcast On” or “Broadcast Off”.

Orbit Chat application and the OR-20 unit automatically save the chat history.

Chat history on OR-20

  • The OR-20 device saves the “ChatHistory.txt” file at the root directory of the SD Card.

Chat history on Orbit Chat

  • The Orbit Chat application saves the “ChatHistory_Orbit Reader 20 XXXX.txt” file into the Orbit Chat folder located at the internal storage of the Android device.
  • Here, XXXX in the file name stands for the serial number of the OR-20 unit.

Rebooting the Android device, Reset the OR-20 unit, and try again.

Not able to connect the OR-20 unit with the Android device

  • Make sure you are pressing dot 8 to accept the connection request within 30 seconds
  • Reset the OR-20 unit and try again.

From the application side, the user can type using any of the languages listed in the following table. The message on the Orbit Reader 20 will be shown as uncontracted braille.

# Supported Languages
1 English
2 Gujarati
3 Bengali
4 Hindi
5 Kannada
6 Malayalam
7 Gurumukhi
8 Oriya
9 Tamil
10 Telugu
11 Greek
12 Arabic
13 Mongolian
14 Hebrew

From Orbit Reader 20, users can type using any language listed in the menu “Select a translation table”. For proper translation appropriate language has to be set, the message might appear as garbage otherwise.