Humanware's new def blind communicator app.

iOS & iPadOS
At long last. Humanware's stepped up to the plate to deliver us all from darkness with the new def blind communicator app, available to all people for the reasonable price of... what? That can't be right... 99 dollars? For an ios app? An app that requires you to already have spent thousands of dollars on a braille display? Yupp, you heard it right. We thought access note was bad. We thought braille institute's via app was insulting. But now, Humanware has kindly stepped up and taken the cake with no contest whatsoever by releasing this 99 dollar beauty. This app, buy the way, appears to be nothing more than a text chat interface for braille displays. I don't know if it works, because who in their right mind would by the damn thing? I'm aware of the countless arguments in favor of expensive adaptive technology. Yes blind people represent a nitch market. Yes, the companies would go under if they didn't rob us with every update to their unprofessional and buggy code' I know all of this is true. There's got to be a better way. We need to step up and let these people know that we won't stand for their inflated prices on apps that don't even work half the time anyway. This app goes against the entire purpose and method behind i devices. What's the point of having this amazing bit of mainstream kit in your pocket if you're being told by companies like Humanware that you need to pay them a hundred dollars for their text chat app? This is absolutely unforgivable.



Submitted by wiljames on Saturday, September 8, 2012

I must chime in here! I do read the site, but don't usually comment. Being that Humanware is trying to push the blind ghetto tactics on a device that needs no extra money to make it adaptive pisses me off to no end! I thought Fleksy was bad charging too much for an app where you have to manipulate extra steps to say what you want, but this is far worse! Don't get me wrong, Fleksy is a good product for what it does, but I feel it isn't worth the sum of money for its lack of integration. The speed gained in typing is lost on mucking around the app just to paste in where ever you want your text to go. Do what I do and not buy the app from Humanware. I refuse to pay the blind tax on a device that is ready for me to use out of the box. That is why I left the Windows Mobile and Android platforms behind. I got tired of paying the blind taxes just to make the thing work for me. This is straight out bull!

Submitted by Marina on Monday, February 4, 2013

Hello, I have found an alternative solution to Humanware's Deaf Blind Communicator App, but the downfall is that you must have two IOS devices. This app is called Bluetooth IM. The app works great with Voiceover. Works with IOS 3 and above, even though the description says you can only have it run on a certain iDEVICE model. It gives you a vibrating alert when the other user sends you a message, if you're using an iPHONE. Even though this app might be too advanced to configure, it might work as a good tool for deaf blind users. The great news about this app is that it's FREE!

Submitted by Signaltonoise on Monday, February 4, 2013

$20 would be the same as buying two albums from the app store. So, why not support the developer and let them know you enjoy and use their product? I don't believe a $99 app is all that bad. Think about the people who are going to be using it. When navigon first came out I didn't hesitate and bought it for $60 I've never regretted my purchase. Devs need to eat and take care of their families just like everyone else.

Submitted by synthesizer101 on Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I, too, bought navigon North America for $60, and I also enjoy all its features. But the difference between that purchase and that of the communicator, apart from the actual $40, is the fact that humanware's product is entirely unrevolutionary. Navigon had to include countless features. A GPS program is extremely difficult to program. Providing up-to-date maps costs money, because people need to create the databases. All the well put together and useful features in navigon were intensely thought out, implemented accessibly, and made to work at least mostly flawlessly. Up to the plate comes a $99 app that basically boasts a text editor for little messages. You enter something, they read it, they enter something, you read it, it gets saved in a log. That is not revolutionary. It's not even evolutionary. It's simple. Three instructions: 1. begin new loop. 2. Wait for input. (allow simple IOS editor to display the entered text. 3. Save the input. So, they wrap the thing in a convenient GUI? Great job. You want how much, you say. $1.99? $2.99? You were thinking a small market? How about $9.99? $99.99? Where did that come from? They already use the app to sell their braille displays, and the same functionality could occur with any simple text editor. In fact, any developer could duplicate the thing in very little time. I don't agree about Fleksy and Braille Touch. Had I not won a copy of fleksy, I surely would have bought one. I haven't bought braille touch because it doesn't have contracted braille, and my tested string for "hello" actually printed "h::::::hsss". Still, $10 or $20 may be a little much, but for something as revolutionary as fleksy, it's worth the amount. Same with the money reader, and same with navigon. It wasn't just the exorbitant price that threw people off, but also the striking lack of features.

Submitted by Unregistered User (not verified) on Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I too baught Navigon and Fleksy. I baught money reader too for that matter. The difference is that these apps had features. I literally couldn't believe fleksy when I first tried it. Fleksy was truely revolutionary, as was money reader. When that app first came out, it did things that no other app did. Real time money recognition with no button presses and no hastle was worth the price I paid for it. I just think Humanware is badly off track here, especially since the 99 dollar app is basically an advertisement for their expensive braille displays. Having to buy the display at a cost of thousands of dollars is bad enough. I know the folks at humanware have to eat. I'm not bashing them for trying to make a living, but I do feel that this price is unreasonable. It's the same kind of thing that afb did with access note.

Submitted by Scott Davert on Thursday, February 7, 2013

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
All I can say on this is that you may want to check out my blog post here on Applevis for a full review. I agree the cost is way too high, especially since most of its features are already integrated in to iOS in one way or another. HIMS Chat, if they ever get it together, is at a far better price. (free). The only figures we have on unemployment in the US for the blind put that rate at around 70 percent. The only figures I have, which may or may not be accurate, show that the unemployment rate for those in the US who are deaf-blind is over 90 percent. Humanware knows this, companies typically take the time to educate themselves on the demo they serve. What is my point with te rant I'm gong on? That most people with a dual disability cannot aford to pay $99 for an app, unless it's being hfunded by a rehab agency or some other external resource, such as the new National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program. So like any business, Humanware is looking to generate the most money posible and targeting the audience who will most likely purchase their product. The demographic, in this case, are the above mentioned funding sources. Many professionals in the field do not have time to research, or are too lazy, and will easily fall for the marketing strategies Humanware has adopted. Humanware is only too happy to oblige, to offer all the "best" solutions in 1 company, but as any consumer with half a brain will tell you, no one company who tries t do it all will actually succeed. But this is a much more wide scope than jus Humanware, or adaptive technology, many businesses work the same way. It's just a fact of life.