Orbit Research announced the launch of the Orbit Slate family of multi-line braille displays on the eve of the annual conventions of the American Council of the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind.
The Orbit Slate is the first and only product in the world to provide multiple lines of true real-time refreshable braille in a single, compact, tablet-sized device that enables people who are blind or visually impaired to seamlessly and intuitively experience spatially arranged text and information such as spatial math problems, braille music and tables in real time.
The Slate offers Orbit’s unique signage quality True Braille cells in two configurations – a model with three rows of forty cells and one with five rows of twenty cells.
The Orbit Slate offers all the features of the revolutionary Orbit Reader 20, including a book reader, editor and the ability to connect to a smartphone or computer via Bluetooth or USB and access all the features of these platforms using popular screen reader programs. It also includes features for productivity and convenience such as onboard braille translation in over 40 languages, a clock with alarms, a calendar, and a calculator.
“Orbit Research has provided us with the Orion TI-34, TI-36X, TI-30XS Multiview, and the TI-84 Plus talking scientific and graphing calculators in the past, along with the incomparable Graphite interactive tactile graphics display, which my students have thoroughly enjoyed using. I look forward to their rendition of an interactive refreshable multi-line braille display, which is so vital to the exploration of spatial math problems involving fractions and mixed numbers, number line graphs, and matrices for example. Such a multi-line braille display will also make solving multi-step equations at all levels of mathematics so much easier as well.” Said Susan A Osterhaus, Statewide Mathematics Consultant at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
“As a braille reader, I've long dreamed of a day when a compact, fast, lightweight multi-line refreshable braille display would be available on the market. As a long time developer of technology, I've seen many promising ideas for producing such a product come and go without delivering. With the Orbit Slate line of products, braille readers will be able to more efficiently engage in tasks that were previously very laborious using single line displays. For example: reading and writing braille music, solving complex mathematical equations, manipulating spreadsheets and parsing tabular data in a way that has heretofore been impossible using refreshable braille technology. The Orbit Slate family of multi-line products will be a game changer in the field of braille technology in ways we can't even imagine at this time!” said Brian Buhrow, President of the Computer Science Division of the National Federation of the Blind.
The Orbit Slate represents the next step in the evolution of the braille display. When we introduced the Orbit Reader 20 in 2016, it set the bar for affordable, high-quality refreshable braille and enabled access to literacy for thousands of blind people around the world. The Slate now brings the same signage-quality braille cell technology and enables a multi-line reading and writing experience – something that sighted people take for granted but which has never been possible for the blind.
The Orbit Slate now sets the bar for affordable multi-line refreshable braille. Not only is it a gamechanger in STEM education and professional applications, it also makes everyday reading and entertainment easier and more enjoyable.” said Dr. Gina Spagnoli, Orbit Research’s Founder.
"It is another milestone in Orbit’s journey towards leveling the playing field for visually impaired students and professionals." she added. Both models feature a high-quality 8-key Perkins-style braille keyboard, a cursor pad and rocker keys for navigation and panning, cursor routing buttons and a full-sized SD-card slot for loading books and files for reading and editing. When connected to a computer or smartphone, the Orbit Slate leverages the extensive screen-reader ecosystem developed for the Orbit Reader family of braille displays to provide instant access to Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, Chrome OS, Fire OS and Linux systems. Its integration with all popular platforms means that users have countless ways of interacting with their favorite apps and software.
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