Braille Star 80
The Intelligent Braille System
Braille Star 80 is an ergonomically optimized Braille system for the professional workspace with 80 piezo-electric Braille cells. Combined with a PC keyboard, Braille Star 80 can be used stand alone to take notes. In this way Braille Star 80 becomes an intelligent Braille system. The PC keyboard can be placed directly on top of the Braille Star 80. In addition to a 16-key numeric block, the Braille Star 80 is also equipped with 8 function keys. These all are ergonomically positioned for Braille input.
Braille Star 80 can be connected to a PC via USB or the serial port. 2 Audio-Stereo signals, connectable on the back of the Braille Star 80, are passed through to the right front corner of the Braille Star. This allows you to connect a headset and microphone conveniently and directly to the Braille Star 80. Braille Star 80 can be used with different screen reading programs in order to work on various operating systems including Windows 95/98/2000/NT/ME/XP as well as Windows 7 and Linux.
With just one keyboard, you can either take some notes internally or control the PC. The keyboard is connected directly to the Braille Star 80 and can be switched over easily. The Braille Star 80 is available in Handy Tech blue and silver grey.
Handling the Braille Star 80
The triple action keys allow activation of three functions by pressing either the upper, the lower or the central part of the key. The triple action keys are positioned ergonomically left and right of the Braille cell surface. In order to place the cursor directly on the reading position of the finger, each of the Braille cells is equipped with its own cursor routing button. The Braille Star 80 is also equipped with extended up and down keys. These keys can be easily reached while reading the more central area of the Braille display. The 16key pad which is user definable can be used for additional functions like dialling in a telephone application.
Internal Note Taking Capability
While working with the PC, you can also take some internal notes independently from the PC. You can take those notes either with the Braille keys in front of the Braille Star 80 or with the PC keyboard on top of the Braille Star 80.
Your notes will be stored as files within the Braille Star 80. Up to 5 files can be opened in parallel. Alt + Tab (chord 568) allows you to change between open files. A file can be as big as 3 MB, and up to 512 files can be stored in the Braille Star 80. Block functions like Copy (Ctrl + C), Cut (Ctrl + X) and paste (Ctrl + V) are available. There are also clipboard and an easy to use search and replace function.
Easy Data Transfer
HTCOM, the Handy Tech Communication program, allows easy transfer of data from Braille Star 80 to the PC and back again. In addition, HTCOM allows you to send directly the Windows clipboard to the Braille Star. A grade-2 translator as well as a monitor mode for visualizing the display of the Braille Star 80 are also integrated in HTCOM. You can also send Word documents directly out of Word or use the “Send To”-function of the Explorer to transfer files into the Braille Star 80.
With the Braille Star 80, Handy Tech again sets new standards in ergonomical design. The surface of the Braille cells is concavely shaped, optimized for the reading finger. This allows reading in a relaxed hand position. The function keys that can be used as Braille keys are ergonomically positioned for Braille entry. The triple action keys which are positioned left and right of the reading surface are also concavely shaped. The cursor routing keys are integrated in the tactile surface of the Braille cell. There is no gap between the Braille display and the front of the PC keyboard. Therefore only a minimum of movement is required while moving the hand from the keyboard to the Braille cells.
Braille Star 80 allows the control of 2 PCs in parallel. Two keyboard inputs from two different PCs can be connected to the Braille Star 80. When switching between USB and serial, you also switch between the two different PCs. This is how you can control two PCs in parallel with the Braille Star 80.