Anyone have experience with a BrailleSense Polaris?

Braille on Apple Products

I went to my state's department of services for the blind yesterday to try out various braille displays. Then I got my hands on a HIMS BrailleSense Polaris and it was instant love. I hadn't thought about a notebook before but quickly realized how handy it could be for meetings and visiting patients at remote sites (I moonlight in hospice but primarily work in tech) to using it in classes. Originally I was thinking I'd want a Brailliant BL 40 display but now I'm obsessed with the Polaris. I know the Braillenote Touch is its competitor but I'm not all that into touchscreen. Does anyone here have one of these Polaris notebooks? Wondering how well it meshes with Apple devices, it being Android based. My workplace has standardized on Google apps for all things email, calendar, documents, etc, so the Polaris being focused on Google apps is also a draw. But I'm looking for practical experience. I know everyone has their preferences and all devices have their annoying aspects. I'm still thinking of getting myself a Brailliant BL 14 just for fun, but I'm looking for opinions on the Polaris based on someone who has actually used it. Thanks!




Submitted by captianbubble on Thursday, December 27, 2018

I have the brailleSense polaris! It is quite easy to use with the iPhone pairing and using it.
Also, when you have Google apps with the cloud and everything, it’s really easy from there.
It is also works with the computer
Also, they just came out with a new feature a while ago that you can use the notepad for taking basic notes.

Submitted by Pigwidgin on Thursday, December 27, 2018

In reply to by captianbubble

That's great news about the iPhone and Google apps! When you say it works with the computer, are you talking about a Mac or Windows box?

Submitted by Humberto Avila on Friday, December 28, 2018

I have used a Braille Sense Polaris in the past and I also was intreagued by it. My favorite feature of this device was is recording functionality which you can activate with a single button, not sure which one that is, but somewhere in the middle of all of them. I actually tried the Polaris I used for a demo / review write up for my local Blind Rvocational Rehab office. As a Braille display, I am sure you can use it. I currently have a Braille Note Touch® and it is easy to pair by just launching its app and setting it up on Bluetooth. I imagine it would be somewhat the same here in the Polaris since Both use Google in their Core OS.

Submitted by Pigwidgin on Friday, December 28, 2018

In reply to by Humberto Avila

Thanks, Humberto, for the reply. It seems like the Polaris might be a good choice for me. It seems as though it's a bit of a religious war between the Touch and the Polaris. I'm not so sure if I'd like a touch screen and I liked the feel of the Polaris. I just want whatever I get to be versatile. For it to be a note taker on its own but also operate as a braille display when paired to my iPhone or Mac. Or perhaps with NVDA on Windows.

Submitted by TJT 2001 on Friday, December 28, 2018

If you don't want a touch screen, then the Polaris sounds perfect for you. You can use it as a braille display with Windows, macOS, iOS and Android screen readers. It also has very good word processing capabilities. Its email support is okay, but the web browser on the unit itself is somewhat lacking, so you would probably prefer to use the web browser on another device instead and get braille support by using it as a braille display.

Submitted by Pigwidgin on Saturday, December 29, 2018

In reply to by TJT 2001

Thank you for your reply! Your comments are helpful. I think you are probably right about the Polaris being the better choice for me. Good to know about the lousy web browsing. I had not ever really intended to use it for that unless using it as a braille display and using something like NVDA with it. So I think it will be fine.