2019-08-02 05:44:15

I recalled coming across this a few days ago when talking with an associate, it appears the Graphiti Braille Display has quietly been released by Orbit Research, as indicated [here] with a big "AVAILABLE NOW!" line on their website. The device itself has some impressive technology, it can simulate graphical information, has a touch interface you can draw on, independantly variable height pins in a 60 by 40 array, HDMI input, haptic feedback, cursor pad, and SD card slot. It also claims it has an open API that allows developers to develop applications to work with it, though there's no apparent link to it. They can also be networked together so what one person draws can be viewed on other graphiti displays

Curiously there's no mention of price, and to order one you can contact Orbit Research directly [here]...

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2019-08-03 00:57:12

what what what! that sounds amazing has anyone contacted them?

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2019-08-03 01:07:25

I got to try a prototype of this during a school trip a few years back, and the graphics are super cool.

You should've gone for the .net ...

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2019-08-03 01:11:38

really, what was it like, how fast was it, did it make noize? So many questions!

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2019-08-03 01:19:22

My memory of it is not the best, but I think at the time, the speed wasn't the best, and it was much bigger than the current one. It didn't make that much noise from what I remember, but with all of the pins, the pictures were very detailed. I remember someone saying that they could maybe even play Tetris on it. I would assume the price has to at least be $6,000. If not, I would think that the speed isn't that good, but it's still revolutionary for what it is.

You should've gone for the .net ...

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2019-08-03 02:00:56

Reached out a few weeks back when I, too, noticed the change. Told them I was a maker with some disposable income and talent at these sorts of integrations. I've heard nothing. Maybe next time.

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2019-08-03 17:17:45 (edited by ambro86 2019-08-03 17:19:57)

Thanks for this news. I was looking at these devices for many years. I've found in the past only that braille display produced in Japan. The very cool news of this display, is that is written that you can connect it at any Hdmi port like a monitor. So my question is: can I connect it at any Hdmi tv, or game console that has Hdmi port? If is possible, blind people will play game console, like Nintendo Switch or Xbox, touching images?

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2019-08-03 17:21:37

I tried something like this from APH a few years back, called the grefeedie, or something like that. It was quite nice.

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2019-08-03 17:34:10

Ty wrote:

I tried something like this from APH a few years back, called the grefeedie, or something like that. It was quite nice.

Hi Ty, can you answer to my question? The device you have tried can connect to any monitor with Hdmi?

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2019-08-03 18:30:08

Does this allow for reading multiple lines of Braille and/or reading more formatted information such as multi-column tables? I'm not particularly interested in tactile graphics, I just want to read multiple lines of Braille.

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2019-08-03 19:24:03 (edited by Thatguy 2019-08-03 19:25:37)

Well, sometimes I go down to the Kentucky School for the Blind for something or another and APH is right next door. I've been over to see this thing, and let me tell you, it's pretty dang cool. The guy showing it off to me had an Lightning to HDMI adapter and was actually displaying google maps street view with it, from his phone which was pretty neat. There's even a mode where you can draw on the braille display itself with your finger and the dots will show up where you touch; I believe it has some sort of touchscreen technology in it somewhere. Now, it's not made for displaying braille, but it can. But because the pins are so large, so too would be the braille. It does have a braille keyboard, so I know you can input with it, but I think the whole point is to turn graphical output into raised dots. It is even compatible with the orion  calculators so that you can see the graphs it's drawing for you instead of listening to them.

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2019-08-03 21:19:42

@11, witch device? the gravity, or the grefedi?

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2019-08-03 23:26:47

Ty wrote:

@11, witch device? the gravity, or the grefedi?

With both of them. I would know if these tactile displays can be useful to play games like rpg, for example. I mean not games that requires you fast reaction because you have to touch the display, but games in which you can have the time to touch, for example, to know the way to go exploring a castle.
I am curious to hear experience of people that tried them.

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2019-08-04 17:37:05

To clear up some confusion:
Graphiti is one device, there aren't two of them. APH and Orbit Research originally constructed the device. But in that time, there was a fallout over the Orbit Reader20's price. APH wanted it to stay affordable and thus would not allow the price to be raised from $500 to somewhere around $600 like Orbit proposed, and to be a long story short, Orbit basically said ok, fine, we'll just go off on our own and you can't distribute the Orbit braille display anymore. Thus the price got raised. Word has it that APH and Orbit came to an agreement again, but who knows. All we know is we have one company who's rightfully militant about keeping the price of braille affordable even in a tough market, and one manufacturer who isn't quite sure just what the price should be. As long as it doesn't keep going up, we're fine. Anyway, Orbit seemed to have gone off on their own with the Graphiti as well, especially if APH hasn't yet gone public with it.

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2019-08-05 00:38:01

@14
Oh? Thats particularly interesting... Checking the APH site they do still seem to sell the [Orbit Reader 20], but its 699$ with 470 in stock. Hmm, there also seems to be a notice though:

IMPORTANT NOTE – All new orders for Orbit Reader 20 placed June 2019 and beyond will be supported and serviced directly, and only, by Orbit Research Customer Service at 1-888-60-ORBIT (1-888-606-7248) or [email protected] Units sold prior to June 2019 will continue to be serviced by APH.

Are there any other sources or information on this? I'm curious as to what other factors might be involved, though I have a few ideas.

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2019-08-05 05:24:51

They came to an agreement, but weren't allowed to sell it at the price APH wanted that was $500. And basically stopped allowing APH to service units. Basically, it's a bit of a case of codependency between the two, which is never a good thing.
Here's some tweets:
Bryan Smart,  @twynn92 @reevesman @RangerStation @blindbargains @APHfortheBlind @OrbitResearch1 Heard today, unconfirmed, that Orbit wanted to increase the price, partly due to some increased costs. APH said no, so they lost APH as a distributor and major source of sales. Everyone knows selling directly to blind people is corporate suicide, and so Orbit folded. Damn shame! 4 months ago,  Twitterrific for iOS
Bryan Smart,  @RangerStation @twynn92 @reevesman @blindbargains @APHfortheBlind @OrbitResearch1 @bbrannan They produce the first refreshable tactile display. Several are manufactured, then circumstances kill it. Now, the least expensive Braille display, ever, gets killed, too. It’s sad and frustrating, as neither died from being a bad product. 4 months ago,  Twitterrific for Mac
Bryan Smart,  @bbrannan @linnea710420 @RangerStation @twynn92 @reevesman @blindbargains @APHfortheBlind @OrbitResearch1 I sure hope so, though, if they increase the price a lot, they may as well stop making it. It's amazing at $500, but the slow refresh rate isn't nearly as excusable at $1,000. Wonder if this means Graphiti might survive, too? 4 months ago,  Twitterrific for iOS
Buddy Brannan,  @BryanSmart @linnea710420 @RangerStation @twynn92 @reevesman @blindbargains @APHfortheBlind @OrbitResearch1 Orbit's costs have increased, yes. Now it sells retail at $599. So not sure what "a lot" is for an increases but it hasn't hit $1k. Orbit didn't fold. Orbit is still selling, updating, supporting, and has units available. , 4 months ago,  Twitter for iPhone
Orbit Research,  @bbrannan @BryanSmart @linnea710420 @RangerStation @twynn92 @reevesman @blindbargains @APHfortheBlind The Orbit Reader 20 is in active production and we continue to develop and support it with firmware updates, warranty service and repairs.  It is available through our website: http://www.orbitresearch.com/product/ta … reader-20/ and via phone: 888-606-7248 4 months ago,  Twitter Web Client
And here's this article with further clarifying info

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2019-08-12 01:01:37

Finally got this short email reply from their sales department. TLDR: $15K USD, and apparently buying it involves signing an NDA. If the price is this high and NDAs are involved, my suspicion is that they're doing a small production run so they can fix defects without having to toss out lots of waste product, and my hope is that the price will reduce when the cost of involving lawyers for NDAs and making a small supply run are done away with. But I don't know a whole lot about manufacturing hardware, other than that they don't call it easyware for more reasons than one. Anyhow, $15K is a bit out of my few K budget for such a thing, so I'll pass for now, and the company I'd hope might fund it for me has since failed to raise its seed round. Here's the email:

Hello Nolan,

Please accept my apologies for the delayed response.

We currently have pre-production models of the Graphiti available for USD 15,000.

Yes, we do have a fully documented API which can be provided under NDA at the moment.  You can use the Graphiti with its HDMI interface can be used to view the computer screen without the API as well.

Please let us know if you would like any further information such as discounted pricing and if you would like, we can send you our NDA to sign.

With best regards,

Venkatesh Chari
Orbit Research

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2019-08-12 01:03:55

Yeah, 15000 is pretty expensive for me too. I'll hold off for now.

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2019-08-12 20:46:55

To be honest, I tried a 32 cell braille display as part of a university research project.
I still have it on lone.
I can't believe I was willing to go for 20 cells, the 32 cell unit I have will read half a line of text and then you have to read the next half line.
I think once I can read a page of text or maybe half a page that would be nice.
I don't care about graphics as such but if a duel purpose display could do that, ie run as a normal display well.
Now if you could use it as a game imput device, and a controler, you could potentially have some fun.

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2019-08-14 03:50:30

orbits price has gone up yet again. This now makes me want to try the probably quieter Braille Me, or some sketchy 4 to $500 Chinese Braille display that my friend told me about.

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2019-08-14 08:32:24

@20
Chinese braille display you say? Care to elaborate?

The Orbit Reader's price also seems to be holding at 599$ on [orbits site], though they also seem to have an extended warranty for 85$. [APH] is 699$, and the [RNIB] is 499$ without VAT, and 598.80$ with VAT.

As for the Graphiti, i'm not sure what the future holds for it, but that price is definitely a barrier that could seriously hurt its viability, even if it isn't all that surprising. I'm not sure the number of people who could afford such a display would serve as a viable market, or if companies and institutions are willing to sink the cash into something like that over cheaper, less sophisticated approaches. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

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2019-08-14 11:43:53

It sounds like $15k is the pre-release price, implying that it will be cheaper upon release, but that's not saying much. $5k is cheaper, after all. ... wait, $5k is the price of a Braille Sense. Carry on.

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2019-08-15 04:49:45

True, you can shave off quite a bit of the price through streamlined manufacturing, though there can be fixed costs with labour for assembly, shipping, etc. and most of that is typically from chinese manufacturers, with the tradewar its hard to say how that would effect costs but the price increase on the Orbit Reader 20 suggests that could be a factor. Also, while its undeniably a cool device, its still hard to say how well it perform's over a prolonged period of time, how practical it is for every day tasks, what apps are available, or how easy it is to develop for without any reviews or data on it.

Its strange though... They already did a casting call for a [field test] last year with 36 units, which could be a limited production run, right? You would think that would have helped them work out most of the bugs and issues already. If not, why say its 'Available Now' and not advertise it anywhere? Why only offer pre-production units? Why not take pre-orders? If the API's supposed to be open, why require an NDA? Add in the price hike on the Orbit Reader 20 and issues with APH... I don't know, it just seems odd.

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2019-08-15 08:54:58

wow, interesting thread. What a difficult market we are indeed, look at q9 and what happened to it just to not go much further. Though its just unfair to compare software and these products... and of course the causes for their slow demise, but we'll just have to literally and figuratively, wait and see. I would agree totally with post 23.

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