Problems Pairing and Re-Pairing the Freedom Scientific Focus line of braille displays



Users of the Freedom Scientific Focus line of braille displays may experience issues pairing their display with devices running iOS 10.2.

The information we have available to us suggests that this issue primarily affects users who attempt to re-pair a Focus display which has previously been un-paired from the same iOS device, although in our testing it was also impossible to pair a Focus display for the first time when running iOS 10.2.

It is our understanding that Focus displays paired before updating to iOS 10.2 should continue to work correctly.

We recommend that you do not upgrade to iOS 10.2 if you use a Focus braille display and have a use case which may require you to un-pair and re-pair the display, or if you may need to pair a Focus display for the first time before Apple releases a fix.

At the time of posting, we believe that the Focus line of displays are the only displays affected by this issue; in addition to the Focus 14 Blue and Focus 40 Blue, the models we were able to test under iOS 10.2 include the Braille Edge, Braille Sense, Refreshabraille, VarioUltra, and Brailliant.

Bug First Encountered

iOS 10.2

Device(s) bug has been encountered on

iPhone 6S

How often the bug occurs




Fixed In

iOS 10.2.1



By Polarus

7 years 2 months ago

The problem occurs also on iPhone 7. Resetting device to the factory state and also restoring the software via iTunes doesn't help, too. It is impossible to connect Focus 14 Blue at all. Older iOS (e.g. 9.3.5 on other phones) works fine. Other devices such as GPS receiver are working fine, so it's not bluetooth-related problem.

By Justin Miller

7 years 2 months ago

I was taking part in the beta testers program and noticed a big problem with bluetooth pairing the focus braille display. When I noticed this problem, I went back to the public release to see if it fixed the problem. It did not. The whole bluetooth is messed up in some way. If you notice when messing with settings in general, all of the switches that turn on and off will speak the status of the switch as soon as it is double-tapped. However, bluetooth is the only switch that does not speak it's status when turning it off or back on. I understand that when taking part in the beta program we accept the fact that some things are broken but a bug like this should not be released to the public. Anyone who is in the beta program but has another device not enrolled in the program should give feedback to apple telling them about this problem. I have a couple of friends who also tested this bug out and all is the same. It's not just with the braille display but with the whole bluetooth itself. It just so happens that the focus braille displays so far is really the only thing affected by this bug. And I also want to make another correction. The braille display can be paired but not connected. They really need to get this issue resolved because using braille screen input is right now for the most part a pain. They have come a long way from what it was before but this is a serious issue. Think of it like this. If a sighted person installed an update on their IOS device and the screen didn't work any more and they had to use voiceover speech to use the device then I bet that update wouldn't be released to the public. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure how to get in touch with the right people for apple now that I took myself out of the beta program. So if anyone could forward this comment to someone who matters in apple who will varrify what I'm saying is true then please do. Thanks for reading and I hope this helps.

By UndergroundRiver

7 years ago

I just ordered a Focus 40 Blue and was reading here to make sure this bug was gone. I am so glad it has been fixed in 10.2.1.
All my devices have that so I'll be enjoying it soon!
Thank you so much for posting this information and for updating it.
You rock and you need to know that you have helped male life easier for people.