Well folks, anyone who predicted that Hims and Android just made Braille sense, well you're right. Have a look at this brand new Braille Sense Polaris from Hims that was announced at CSun just today. Now for my two cents. The positive, as there is a huge amount to this. I'm really excited to see Hims do this. Not that I had any doubt they would, Hims as always tried to stay mainstream as possible even with Windows Ce. But this is huge as far as collaboration is concerned. With the b2g, the Braillenote Touch, and now the Braille Sense Polaris, as long as people have those notetakers, they're pretty much on even footing as far as software is concerned. Sure, obviously there are interfaces built ontop of each platform that make them stand out, but generally speaking, anyone can use Google Apps, anyone can scan print with their device, anyone can access the same library of apps, you name it. I'm personally holding onto my Touch, but have nothing against the Sense at all. I will, however, point out the stuff that each of the two does or doesn't have.
nfc? On a notetaker?
Yep, you heard right! The sense has an nfc chip, enabling Android Pay! The Touch doesn't have this. I personally don't fancy lifting my huge tablet up to a tap-and-pay, but then again I'm at an advantage with an nfc-activated Android phone. But this would make the Sense stand out among all the others if nfc is what you're looking for in a notetaker.
The Sense is not as touchy
The lack of a touchscreen is not a huge deal to most. I for one am a huge fan of Touchbraille and its completely silent usage. I'm also hugely supportive of the Touch's ability to have the screenreader disabled and the screen be fully available for a sighted person to use, after all I actually have had sighted people use my tablet before for collaboration purposes. While the Sense doesn't have the ability to disable the screenreader, at least not that I know of, it does have touch sensors to perform touchscreen actions, which I actually find to be a cool supplement to the keyboard. I don't even take issue to the Sense only having a keyboard, after all Hims is very well known for having impressively soft keyboards. So while there are advantages to each device, you can take comfort in knowing that there'll be no click-clack on the railroad track while using the Polaris.
Have to send the Sense in for repair, now where's all that data going!
While I'm not a fan of the off-the-shelf low-end sdhc card that comes with the touch, I absolutely am in full support of the removal storage approach. I don't know if Hims is gonna have a care program, if they do that's great, but either way, your data's coming along for the ride if your Polaris has to be sent in for repair. Better still, if it doesn't bother you too much, there are ways around it, Dropbox and the like, so while it is a disadvantage, it isn't a complete doorstop.
So those are just some of the things that each one does or doesn't have. Either way, these are both great devices, and now, for the first time ever, there actually is a freedom of choice when you go to buy your next notetaker.