In what could soon be coming as the first of its kind, Humanware appears to be developing a new braille display and app for synchronizing notes with iDevices. In late April, an app hit the App Store called Brailliant Sync. According to the description by Harpo, the app is designed "for synchronizing notes between Gmail, IMAP and similar servers and Brailliant 14 Braille devices." This tells us 2 things. Humanware is working on a newer and smaller device to add to its line-up of Brailliant displays, and that this new device will have some sort of internal notetaking capabilities which can then be synced to external accounts through the iPhone. As of the May 1 app update, the only service that is not required to be entered manually is a Google account, though many services such as iCloud and outlook.com also use iMap. A search of the Google Play Store did not show the same app being available on Android, so this appears to be an Apple specific feature for now.
Humanware is also the only braille display manufacturer which is re-sold by Apple. At the moment, you can purchase the 32 cell model of the Brailliant BI, or the 40 cell version, directly from Apple. This seems yet another move toward merging mainstream technology with adaptive technology and could potentially boost the productivity for braille users in both work and education. While it's true that the user can utilize the braille display's connection that has a perkins style keyboard to iOS to input text, it's also true that the translator used by Apple is rather quirky. Having the ability to not only synchronize notes with your iDevice, but also with other external services, will allow the user to write with a more robust translator. It will also save battery life, as you are not having to maintain a bluetooth connection to your iDevice while taking notes.
No further information about the Brailliant 12 is available for public consumption. My guess, and it's only a guess, is that it could be something Humanware would bring out at the blindness conventions this summer. Harpo is also no stranger to braille and iOS. They designed MBMimic , an app which allows users of the models of the Mountbatten Brailler with bluetooth to transfer documents to the Mountbatten Brailler to iOS, among other things. It will be interesting to see what this project yields, and if other manufacturers of braille devices will also start to support more bridging of their adaptive technologies with those in the mainstream. As a braille user myself, I'm glad to see more developments on the braille front with iOS. With braille on narrator still requiring a lot of work, and BrailleBack not seeing any updates in well over a year, it's encouraging to see development continuing to move forward on at least one platform.