RiVO - revolutionary remote for VoiceOver users

App Developer
Hi, I’d like to introduce a small product our company makes for iOS VoiceOver users called RiVO. We have seen blind people use iPhone quite well with RiVO. So I'm trying my best to make people know about the availability of this product. RiVO is a revolutionary keyboard-like remote for iOS VoiceOver users. The name stands for Remote interface to VoiceOver. Being about the size of a credit card, it is highly portable and yet comfortable with big keys. There are 12 keys in the middle just like telephone keypad, and there are 4 additional keys on the left and on the right, respectively. You can enjoy VoiceOver like a breeze with RiVO. You can also type and edit text fast and easy, control music simple and handy. These features surely make RiVO users to use a greater number of apps easily every day compared to VoiceOver users without RiVO. RiVO supports iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Let me list some comments from RiVO users around the world:
  • RiVO is the most accurate and efficient tool for the blind to use smartphone.
  • I have 275 apps on my iPhone and RiVO is really valuable and helpful.
  • Alphabet typing becomes extremely fast with RiVO.
  • RiVO is a must-have accessory that many blind people will appreciate.
  • I have RiVO with me all the time.
  • Getting beyond different levels of the gestures are extremely faster with this keypad.
  • RIVO’s smallQWERTY is superior to the old method of alphabet entry.
  • I use iPhone and RiVO every day, all day long.
  • RiVO is an indispensable accessory to the blind.
  • RiVO enables me use my iPhone precisely and quickly while on the move.
  • RiVO makes me use my iPhone without having to be conscious of the surroundings with my gesture actions.
  • RiVO gives me the convenience and freedom to use iPhone just like those who can see.
  • We really love this wonderful keyboard that you guys have made usable for us!
  • I love my RiVO! I keep it in my pocket all the time.
  • RiVO can provide relief to many users who are struggling with touchpad interface.
  • We were working with a customer who is blind, can only use one hand, and has cognitive disabilities. RiVO gave him better access than he had ever had before to a desktop or iOS device.
  • RiVO will become a true part of my iPhone experience, and will make the iPhone so much easier to use. You have brought a wonderful device into our lives.
  • This little gadget will definitely change the way I work with my iPhone. My right arm is feeling better already.
 RiVO is surely not for everyone. However, if you're not good enough or just slow at using iPhone with touch interface, if you miss the comfortable keyboard at home while you're away from home, if you want to keep your iPhone safely in your pocket or bag while on the move, if you want to leave your iPhone plugged in the speaker while sitting on sofa or while in bed, or if you want to use your iPhone more comfortably and play with it all day long, RiVO can be a boon companion to help you use iPhone better than ever and unlike everyone else. I hope RiVO is a convenient accessory to help you find, explore and enjoy the possibilities of your smart devices and fabulous apps out there that make your life easy. Thanks and best wishes, Mobience Inc.RiVO: mobience.com/rivoTwitter: twitter.com/mobienceFacebook: facebook.com/mobience



I'd like to thank the RiVO team for developing a such handy product. From where can I purchase this smart portable keyboard? Is it available in other countries? This device will give VO users a better typing experience to those who type in different languages which most iOS apps don't do.

We sincerely appreciate your

App Developer

We sincerely appreciate your welcoming comments. Currently we're providing RiVO through this simple order page within our website. I hope people get RiVO at nearby stores someday, but I'm sorry that would take long. :) Thanks again for your interest.

Thank you

I'll be placing an order this evening and inform my friends about your product. Thanks again :)

So I take it this keyboard

So I take it this keyboard isn't a case that snaps on the back of the iPhone? Also, does this keyboard have common punctuation on? what do the 4 buttons do on the keyboard that are either side of the letters? are there plans to make a bigger version of this keyboard that acts as a case? my favourite keyboard that I have experienced is the nuu minikey for iPhone 4s, the typing experience on that is great, and far superior to what was released for iPhone 5 and above, I would be very interested in a layout similar to this in a case form. This is because I don't like having to juggle two devices at once, I prefer having just one device to hold in my hand for example if I am standing in public, if I have two things to hold it becomes very likely I will drop one of them, not good if that happens to be your iPhone, its why I always go for cases.

RiVO is standalone like

App Developer

RiVO is standalone like normal keyboard except that it's small and has fewer and bigger buttons. It supports typing of all the standard keyboard letters including alphabet, numbers and symbols found on standard English keyboards. I cannot simply explain exactly what functions there are with buttons, but I can explain that we have elaborated much to make RiVO as useful as possible to control iPhone but still as easy as possible. It would take some time getting used to it, but please trust me that our users said they got used to it faster than they expected. I think it's really worth trying to make your iPhone work great for you. Please have a look at the manual. It will tell you what functions are supported how with RiVO.

RE: RiVO - revolutionary remote for VoiceOver users

This is a very interesting and innovative piece of hardware. However, the price including postage is much too high for my budget. Will it ever decrease? Also, whenever a new firmware version is released, how does the user update it?

Thank you so much for your

App Developer

Thank you so much for your interest in RiVO. Since RiVO is not just like a normal keyboard, we can't help it about the price to make us keep providing and doing things right. Regarding firmware updates, RiVO is not designed to be upgradable. However, we have tested it since iOS 4. There were no problems with iOS 4, 5, 6 and 7 except the iOS bugs in each version. There have been minor updates over time within RiVO, but it is not upgradable by users. I'm sorry about this. When you order one, it's just sent with the latest firmware version.

RE: RiVO - revolutionary remote for VoiceOver users

This means if any future bugs are found in the current iOS version, the user has no way to benefit from a patch without purchasing another piece of hardware? In my humble opinion, this is not acceptable regardless of price. The user gets what they get and is for ever ‘locked out’ of ALL improvements to the firmware regardless of current and/or future iOS versions. The concept is innovative and original but being brick-walled [locked to non-upgradable hardware] is the perfect reason for me to never purchase one. Imagine if all iDevices were the same: whatever version of iOS was installed on a device by the time you have unpackaged it is what you use on that device for ever. Imagine if Apple never allowed the end-user to upgrade or simply never had any manner by which to upgrade the operating system. This is essentially what RiVO is.

Sounds like an interesting

Sounds like an interesting product, will be looking into this further. If they were naive comments you posted above, then they weren't bad. Haha that made me laugh. Positive might be a better word, since naive implies coming from people with "A lack of experience, wisdom, or judgement" lol Anyway well done on your hard work designing this product. :-)


Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Brotha J., How is the RiVO any different in this regard from any other keyboard in terms of updatability? Unless I'm very much mistaken, the RiVO is an input device...how the device functions with the OS is all built into iOS.

Firmware upgradability

Club AppleVis Member

I have mixed feelings about firmware upgradability for a product like this. Apple is unlikely to change VO in such a way as to prevent this from working in future versions of the iOS, but unlikely does not mean impossible. For example, they might decide, for whatever reason, to change the behavior of a command like Control-Option-S to do something different than it currently does. Should that happen, this product will no longer offer the correct functionality under the subsequent iOS version, with no recourse for the user except purchase a new device with internal updates to address the problem. Also, enhancements like the new Control-Option-Shift-C for copying last spoken phrase to clipboard will not be available without a firmware update, so depending on a user's interest in new VoiceOver features, an ability to update the device's firmware could be desirable. That said, that will not necessarily keep me from purchasing this, although I currently have no need for it since I am happy with my full-sized keyboard with my iPad. If I should get a different iOS device in the future, such as an iPod Touch, then the Rivo will certainly be more attractive to me.

RE: Clarification

Are you saying every external keyboard made specifically for iDevices has non-upgradable firmware and the only possible way to have a newer firmware is to acquire a newer piece of the same hardware? If so, I did not know this; I thought everything would be upgradable if the manufacturer of an external keyboard upgrades their devices' firmware. I never had one so I am not familiar with them. Even still, having a device whose firmware is not updatable when the manufacturer continuously updates their firmware for newer units is not acceptable to me. In regards to ‘…how the device functions with the OS is all built into iOS.’, I was referring to Ein's sentence ‘There have been minor updates over time within RiVO, but it is not upgradable by users.’. This implies to me whenever they update their firmware, they fix at least one bug which will never be fixed in the hardware unit purchased before that firmware was updated. If there are sixty bugs when using a unit with the current firmware upon release of iOS 8, the unit with the current firmware will be brick-walled to this and the user will experience all sixty bugs after they have upgraded to iOS 8. I really hope that was not ambiguously written as I attempted to illustrate my concerns with the utmost clarity.


Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Brotha J., I own an Apple Wireless Keyboard as well as a smaller handheld Bluetooth keyboard. Maybe I'm just the minority, but I've never considered the need to update my Bluetooth keyboards. The Apple keyboard has no way to update it and is just a paperweight without a computer or device to connect to anyway. So all the functionality is in the device and not the keyboard, per say. I can't think of any instance where manufacturers have released updated firmware to end-users for their wireless keyboards, as the whole functionality that end-users observe is in the device that the keyboard is sending commands to. So, in other words, I don't think any manufacturers allow users to update firmware on Bluetooth keyboards. As for firmware bugs in Bluetooth keyboards--as opposed to those bugs that effect Bluetooth keyboard operation in an operating system--I have not heard of anything of this nature with any specific models.

RE: Expectations

I guess it varies depending whom you ask. Whilst there are many users like yourself who are content with not having the most up-to-date firmware in your hardware when a manufacturer has updated it for newer hardware units [same model for sake of discussion], there are those like myself who feel the need to have the latest patch to rectify a bug / security hole / whatever flaw plagued the prior firmware version found in your unit. If there was no fix and/or improvement regardless whether or not the end-user realises a flaw ever existed, the fact is something has been fixed or improved upon and I, being the end-user who is not able to receive that fix or improvement, am denied all future fixes and improvements.

I also don't like the

I also don't like the developer's attitude that they have to sky rocket the price of the key board just so they can develop it. Iv'e sold a lot of stuff in my days and I can say that the lower the product, o the more balanced the price is the more a user will want to buy it.

Example, I charge $8 for my products and a lot of people are surprised by this as it is so cheap, how ever if I were to go and charge 100 for each product I would get fewer buyers then if i charge 8 or even 15 as it is fairly priced for what you get.

Also there's this to consider. Never have I encountered a blue tooth device with bugs. It is usually the fault of the iOS or android device it's running on.¬ and it take s for ever to come up with new blue tooth profiles. I believe we are up to 4 and it's only been about 10 or so year s since blue tooth was out.

With the keyboard device being 4 buttons and stuff as I've been reading about this online and other lists, I don't see the point in this and might a well get a keyboard case to make my phone look like a blackberry.

those are just my thoughts.

Tc all


Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Brotha J., I agree that software and hardware products--like Braille note takers, GPS units, etc.--should be able to receive firmware updates, even if a user must pay for said updates. The only point I'm trying to make here is that the lack of ability to install firmware updates is not specific to the ReVO keyboard. I don't know of any other Bluetooth keyboards that have this capability because, well, there really isn't anything to update. ;-) All standard Bluetooth keyboards do is connect to a Bluetooth-enabled device and allow the user to control that device. So, the functionality is very much based on the Bluetooth support built into the operating system.

Thanks for valuable comments and opinions.

App Developer

Excuse me of my lazy response. I was overwhelmed by valuable comments and opinions. Thanks all. We promise to listen to everything and try to do the best to improve it as much as we can. We have decided to provide it as is globally by online other than just attending some exhibitions and waiting for RiVO to be in its final form in the future which might be far. We have seen and found good and enough rationale about our decision and wanted to be of any help to those who may want to use smartphone better than now just like those who are good at. As I mentioned in the original post, RiVO is surely not for everyone. However, we will continue to do our best to make RiVO as helpful to as many people as possible. We sincerely hope so.


From what I read in the description this device only has twelve keys for text entry. Is that correct? This would mean that the text entry must be different then a qwerty keyboard. I fail to understand how this twelve key method could be faster then apps such as mbraille, (which in my opinion is the most efficient method for typing on an iPhone.) not to mention apps like fleksy and bluetooth keyboard cases. I can't see how carrying a separate device, which one has to keep charged, would make much since if it doesn't at least offer a qwerty keyboard layout, or a six key braille entry, However, perhaps I am missing something.

I believe this is like the t9

I believe this is like the t9 way of writing which I could sort of do when I had my old dash. The qwerty key board was inside the number pad if that made sense. I could go at about 8 to 10 words per minute. Not fast but it worked.

RE: Firmware

Point understood. You taught me something; I did not know that. My question is: what are they updating if functionality stems from the output device? Something is being changed in the firmware or there would not be separate versions.

USB connection

Hello there, I bought this keyboard sometime ago and after using it, I think this is really a wonderful product. However, I find the USB connector provided is too fargile as now I'm having some problem connect the device to charge. It has become lose and I just can't stick the cable in. Often I put it to charge but the next morning found that it wasn't charged at all.

Text Input

Club AppleVis Member

On the page about Rivo, there is a link to the user guide for the device which explains to great detail how the device works. The way you input text on this device is by pressing a certain key repeatedly until the appropriate letter is selected. Letters are assigned to keys roughly based on the QWERTY layout, with priority given to more common letters. It would certainly take practice to master, but I can see how a user can input text reasonably quickly on the device. Not as fast as on a regular keyboard, but I think it will beat using the standard on-screen keyboard. From the description, the main thing I like about its potential is how it can be used for controlling VoiceOver. In my limited experience with VoiceOver for iOS, I can control it more quickly and comfortably with my keyboard than on the device directly, though that might change over time if I can get better used to VoiceOver. I would not get the Rivo for text entry, but rather for general control of the device, like a remote control.

Text input

HI, as for me, I DON'T USE THE product all the time. I find it useful when on public transport or public places.

Thoughts and being amused

Club AppleVis Member

I don't know if this is something I would use, but it sure sounds cool. Did anyone else get a chuckle out of this line from the original post of this topic? "Let me list some naive comments from RiVO users around the world:". To the developer, if you use the text to describe this app that was used in this original post, you probably don't want to use the word "naive" to describe RiVO users or their comments. :) Still, other than the price tag, I think this sounds like a really neat remote. I would want to try it out before buying. My only hesitation is that there is no way to do so apparently.


sockhopsinger. Yes, I did comment on the naive remark, made me laugh. Comment number nine


In my opinion, the firmware is important on this device because the firmware probably contains the mapping for voiceover commands into the 12 keys. The iPhone and iOS will not be able to change what the shortcut keys this keyboard provides would be because it is built into the keyboard and not the software


Club AppleVis Member

Chris, Hah. Gotcha. Went back and re-read it.


App Developer

I deleted the word "naive." Since I'm not a native speaker, I often use the word to mean something as it is. At least I learned like that at school, but looking up the word from dictionary after reading the comments, I have found something I didn't know. I know you know my intention, but nevertheless I deleted the word. I don't want to make our customers look like having talked something silly. Thank you.


App Developer

RiVO cannot support all the commands, but supports most of the common functions to make our customers feel easy most of the time. Further, the basic interface for typing, editing and audio control can be considered the same as traditional Bluetooth keyboards, which RiVO supports faithfully. smallQWERTY interface supported by RiVO is really something you can fully enjoy with just 9 keys in 3-by-3 when typing is concerned. It doesn't have T9-like predictive functionality built within it, but you would see yourself that smallQWERTY is still enjoyable as it is without the predictive functionality. I welcome reading my comments to a review where I found the opportunity to reply in FAQ style. I think they can provide information what most people want to know. They start from here. Thanks. Enjoy your happy weekends.

Maybe I'm missing something,

Maybe I'm missing something, but aren't posts like the original post in violation of AppleVis's site rules?

No, not not he forum side.

No, not not he forum side. the developers are just not aloud to submit their own apps to the apps part of the site

You're right, I seem to have violated the rule.

App Developer

Reading the forum rules and guidelines, I notice this post seem to have violated number 7, no advertising. According to the rule, I should have got an approval beforehand since I believe this would be of interest to the community and falls within the scope of the website. I was just careful not to spam nor to exaggerate about introducing our product, but I didn't read the rules and guidelines carefully before I made the post. Let me try to contact site admins right away to get an approval if it's possible at all. I'm really sorry for my fault, and thank you for indicating that.

I think you are ok. You

I think you are ok. You wanted feedback and you gut it. but yeah see what the devs say. it would be a shame to remove this post as those of us who were wanting to know more those will no longer be on file.

All is Well

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hello Ein and all,

Posts such as Ein's are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. In this case, all is well.


App Developer

I know many people should be making much effort to keep the site organized and run well. I respect site rules and I feel so sorry about my fault and ignorance not reading the guidelines and rules carefully. Please excuse me. Thank you so much for your understanding and tolerance. :)

Demonstration of RiVO

App Developer

Listen to an audio demonstration of RiVO from a podcast, called iSee - How to use Apple Products from an Accessibility Perspective. You will find a lot of audio demonstrations of other useful products from the podcast.

Visit one of the following links:Podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/id423121261PodBean: http://davidwoodbr.podbean.comTwitter: https://twitter.com/dwoodbridge/status/463942376075960320

FYI, RiVO demonstration is posted in the podcast on May 7, 2014.Thanks.


RiVO: mobience.com/rivo Twitter: twitter.com/mobience Facebook: facebook.com/mobience

Interesting product


Listening to Mr. David's podcast on how this device is used, It has a lot of useful, and valuable information. Please listen to it. As for the product itself, this product is interesting, and from listening to Mr. David's podcast, it seems simple to use. Yes, the bluetooth keyboard cases are, in some ways, a little simpler than this product, but I believe if you buy this thing, and practice with it a little, This product will become as easy as navigating with the touch jestures on the iPhone itself. To the Developer, Thank you for reaching out to the Apple Vis Comunity. This device is a fantastic product, and Again, I want to personally thank you for reaching out to the comunity here at Apple Vis.

Thank you.

App Developer

Thank you for taking the time listening to the demo and writing a comment that encourages us about what we're doing. As you mentioned, RiVO is really simple to use, and we want it to add a handy interface to the wonderful VoiceOver technology. Thanks.

Direct links to download audio files in the podcast

App Developer

I was asked to provide the URL of audio files in the podcast since it's difficult to access them if not viewed with Podcasts app in the iPhone. There are many useful audio files in the podcast, but let me just extract the URLs of most recent three of them for your convenience:

Demo of using Maps in OS X Mavericks to get route steps from origin to destination location. May 14, 2014.

Demo of using the RIVO (custom) Bluetooth keyboard for VoiceOver users on the iPhone. May 7, 2014.

Demo of the FitBit Flex (exercise band) with the iPhone Using VoiceOver. May 2, 2014.

I can't remember if I replied

I can't remember if I replied to this, but I don't really see the point of a vo friendly key bowrs when the qwerty one works just fine and is plenty voice over friendly. Why create an exclusive key board just for voice over users when learning the qwerry key board or getting a small bt keyboard the cases that exist and use that. If you take the time to lwarn somethign and practice it it will eventally become second nature.

My opinion

I haven't seen the keyboard yet, but I find that everyone has his/ her own needs. This keyboard is a good idea for those who want to operate their devices and type long texts in the go without taking out their phones from their pocket-shirt. A full sized Bluetooth keyboard is not very handy and easy to carry everywhere. Personally, I won't take with me full sized Bluetooth keyboard wherever I go.
Cases that come with keyboard will make my iPhone look bigger, which is not good. I prefer using these kinds of cases on an iPad for taking notes, writing documents and emails.
Finally, everyone has his/ her own personal needs.


It's true. I personally wouldn't use this keyboard but what about those with limited moter function in there hands.
And those that find texting using the keyboard easier.

For me though, I'd not use it because the way texting was explained it would be like this. if I wanted to rite hi, I'd find 4 on the keypad, press and hold til I here H, then press and hold again till i here I, it's not practical for meat all. But good luck if you use it and remember just because someone doesn't use something doesn't mean it's bad.

I won't use it either

I won't use it either because I find myself typing fast on my iPhone with no problems. This keyboard is useful for those who are having physical disabilities or using one handed mode typing. As I said, everyone has his/ her own personal preference.

I'd like to purchase this but

I'd like to purchase this but I'm put off by the fact that there's no way to find out how much battery is remaining.
Also, adding a slider switch at the top edge of the remote to allow us to switch between alphabet / qwerty / multimedia modes would make it much easier / simpler to work out which mode the remote was in, especially when travelling out and about. The Satechi Bluetooth Smart Pointer Remote Control uses this type of switch to change between presentation / multimedia / accessibility modes.
I use a Plantronics Bluetooth earpiece that speaks the battery level every time I power it on by saying power on, 11 hours remaining. and when I power it off, it says power off. Its reassuring to have that feedback


Curious if this can handle emojis


App Developer

Yes, it can handle emoticons just like everything else reachable with VoiceOver. You may compose your own text emoticons or select among the icons on the Emoji onscreen keyboard.