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Don't just take our word for it - read these testimonials!

I received my Activator yesterday. It's gorgeous!

The ATC is a gamechanger! It makes reading feel more fluid, more personal, more engaging.

We absolutely love the active braille device that our student is using from HandyTech. It has allowed him so much more independence in the classroom and outside of the classroom. He is able to log in to the computer for the first time ever and his reading speed has increased from 50 words a minute to over 70 words a minute in just the first few months with the device. He is reading a novel with his class independently and even accessing his activities online using it. It is absolutely amazing to see how much independence and confidence this device has given him.

Thoughts on my new Activator: For many years, Braille displays have had the problem of input method selection. Some people prefer typing and reading within the same medium, Braille, however other users prefer the direct 1:1 ratio of qwerty typing. It is only now that a little-known company, Helptech GMBH, based out of Germany, have created a braille display with both input methods in one unit. I received my Activator from DreamVision about a week ago, and have been putting the display through its paces. The initial firmware I have, 1.0.16, has had some bugs, however Helptech have already released 1.1 of the firmware to help with some of the growing pains of this display. Hardware wise, this display is rock solid, featuring aluminum construction with regards to the keyboard, and comfortable reading and typing all around. The display has a joystick for controlling the menus or connected device(s), and a total of four (4) spacebars. Two on the front curved edge, one in the middle of the braille keyboard, and the qwerty spacebar. Describing the folding action: Imagine you have a laptop in front of you, and there are your traditional Braille keys on the lid's top. You open the laptop's screen 180 degrees, and use both the upper and lower half as a keyboard. This is how the Activator's folding keyboard works. An ISO layout with vertical return key is split in two between the second and third rows from the bottom. The homerow is the first set of keys on the top cover, and while having indicators on f and j, there is also an indicator on the number 6 on the numbers row. The display has your traditional PC layout, with an fn key between control and the super key. A physical applications key is in between right altogether and control, and the right hand line of keys has extended insert (unlike other qwerty displays), forward delete, home and end, and then right arrow. For ANSI users like myself, the left hand shift key is smaller, with a § key to the right of it, and the return key being vertical, has the \ key immediately to its left and to the right of the apostrophe key. These are the major layout concerns when switching from US to ISO keyboards. The keyboard has only five rows of keys, much like the classic Braille Note M'power or Apex QT models. The F-keys are accessed by enabling the F-lock by pressing fn plus extended insert or holding the fn key along with the numbers 1 through 0, hyphen and equals for F11 and 12, respectively. Connecting via the smartdock: The Smartdock is the newest way to connect your iOS device to your braille display. Most people think of a vertical dock when they think of iOS devices, however this is not the case with the Activator. Made of the same materials as the display, the dock connects to the display through six pogo pins. The pins align with the display and click into place without fuss. The iPhone is on its back, with a braided Lightning cable attaching it to the smartdock. A tension spring on the right hand side secures the iPhone to the dock, applying pressure to hold it in place. When docked, the iPhone communicates with the Activator over USB instead of Bluetooth, and Braille output and input are instantanious. The ability to use the Activator to launch iOS apps directly from a menu is a gamechanger, for the iPhone need not be anywhere particular, the activator just pops open Spotlight and opens the top hit. The ATC can be used in conjunction with the iPhone to have it read aloud what your fingers are reading, so it's useful for deaf blind communication or proofreading and you want to engage all your senses. I am super stoked to have this latest innovation from Helptech in my hands!

As an owner of this display, it is one of the best in the world with its two-in-one keyboard. The keyboard unfolds between the second and third row of keys, and is supported on the desk by two flip-out feet on either end of the top portion. The iPhone smartdock is a sled which has six pogo pins on the left hand side for attaching to the display's right hand side, with a tension spring on its right hand side to secure the iPhone. It has a braided Lightning cable attached at the bottom left hand corner. The iPhone lays down in the dock and does not "stand" up as you'd initially think when you think "dock".

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