Using your iDevice with the Focus Braille Displays

NOTE: For those of you participating in the live Webinar, the following link will open the documentation in a new browser window.

Focus 14 Blue

The new Focus 14 Blue combines a highly responsive 8-dot keyboard and comfortable control layout with both USB and Bluetooth connectivity in a pocket-sized design. The fusion of comfort, portability, and advanced features makes the new Focus 14 Blue the ultimate go-anywhere Braille interface device. Read text messages, navigate your smartphone screen, and enter text – all without taking your phone off your belt or out of your bag. With Focus 14 Blue, you have an efficient, full-featured Braille keyboard for your smartphone, plus the ability to read your smartphone's display silently.

Use the Focus 14 Blue with BrailleIn to control your PC and enter Contracted Braille. Advanced navigation features allow quick movement around documents with natural, efficient hand movements for greater productivity. Read documents and e-mail, work with spreadsheets, and surf the Web – never moving your hands from the Braille display.

Freedom Scientific's exclusive NAV rockers let you rapidly scroll by line, sentence, or paragraph, or pan through a document. Front-mounted selector buttons can be used in combination with panning buttons, rocker bars, and cursor router keys to select a block of text, page up or down, or move to the beginning or end of a document.

Select the firmness of the Braille display with VariBraille. When used with JAWS, the Focus 14 Blue supports our popular Braille Study Mode, an interactive tool for teaching and learning Braille.

The Focus 14 Blue comes in a specially designed protective carrying case that holds the unit firmly, so you can use it while it is slung from your neck. Pull it out to use on the desktop, and snap it back into place for use on the go.

Dimensions: 6.3" x 3.2" x 0.7" (16cm x 8.2cm x 1.9 cm) 8.1 oz (230g)

Focus 40 Blue

The new Focus 40 Blue combines the latest Braille technology, the most user friendly keyboard and control layout, and both USB and Bluetooth connectivity in an extremely lightweight and compact design. Now 38% smaller, the Focus 40 Blue still has the same features that set it apart as a powerful Braille interface device.

Compatible IOS devices

The Focus 40 Blue works with any IOS device that supports Bluetooth and is running IOS version 4 or later. This includes most versions of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The Focus 14 Blue works with any device that supports Bluetooth and is running version 6 of IOS which was released in September of 2012.

Pairing the Focus with an IOS device

To establish a Bluetooth connection between the Focus and an Apple iOS device, such as the iPhone, do the following:

  1. Power on the Focus.
  2. On the iOS device, open Settings, then go to General, Bluetooth, and make sure Bluetooth is on. If you are using iOS 6, Bluetooth is in the main Settings screen.
  3. Double tap the Back button to return to General, then scroll to and double tap on Accessibility. If you are using iOS 6, double tapping the Back button will return you to Settings. You can then double tap General and then Accessibility.
  4. Scroll to and double tap VoiceOver to open the VoiceOver settings.
  5. Scroll to and double tap on Braille to open the Braille settings. The iOS device will start searching for a Braille display.
  6. Swipe one item past “Choose Braille Device”. This item will first say “Searching”. The Focus name will show here when it is found.
  7. Once the display is found, double tap on the name to open the pairing screen. On the iOS device, type 0000 then double tap the Done button, located in the upper right corner, to establish the connection.

Once the Focus has been paired, if you power on the display before taking the iOS device out of standby, the display will automatically connect. Remember to lock the device before turning off the Focus to ensure that braille auto detection works properly the next time you want to use Braille.

Keyboard help mode

Keyboard help mode lets you explore the functionality of the various buttons and commands on the Focus 14 or 40 Braille displays. Press K chord (dots 1 - 3 chord) to turn on keyboard help mode. Press any key or combination of keys on the display and VoiceOver speaks and Brailles what that key or combination does. For example, if you press the right rocker bar up, VoiceOver announces that it scrolls left one page. Press K chord again or press the left selector button to turn keyboard help mode off.

List of key assignments in IOS6

NOTE: A list of commands specific to IOS5 can be found in the Focus 14 and Focus 40 Blue commands for IOS document (PDF).

Control Actions
Router Row Double tap the selected item.
Status Router Row Toggle expanded status description.
LEFT NAV ROCKER UP Move to previous item using rotor setting.
LEFT NAV ROCKER DOWN Move to next item using rotor setting.
LEFT MODE BUTTON Select item under your finger.
RIGHT NAV ROCKER UP Move to previous item.
RIGHT NAV ROCKER DOWN Move to next item.
RIGHT MODE BUTTON Select item under your finger.
LEFT PANNING BUTTON Pan braille to the left.
RIGHT PANNING BUTTON Pan braille to the right.
LEFT SELECT BUTTON Activates a Back button if present.
RIGHT SELECT BUTTON * Vote Event Command (Start/Stop Toggle)
LEFT ROCKER UP Scroll up one page.
LEFT ROCKER DOWN Scroll down one page.
RIGHT ROCKER UP Scroll left one page.
RIGHT ROCKER DOWN Scroll right one page.

List of general Braille commands

Chord command Function
DOTS 1-2 CHORD Activates the Back button, if present
DOTS 1-4-5 CHORD or DOT 7 CHORD Activates the Delete key
DOTS 1-5 CHORD or DOT 8 CHORD Activates the return key
DOTS 1-2-4-5 CHORD Switch between contracted and uncontracted Braille
DOTS 1-2-5 CHORD Activates the Home button (twice quickly to launch the task switcher)
DOTS 1-3-4 CHORD Toggles speech on and off
DOTS 2-3-4-5 CHORD Activates the Tab key
DOTS 3-5-6 CHORD Select text
DOTS 2-3-6 CHORD Unselect text
DOTS 3-4-5 CHORD Volume up
DOTS 1-2-6 CHORD Volume down

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