The Braille Sense u2 Mini

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
Review Category

Rating

5 Stars

Review

The Braille Sense u2 Mini is a note taker with an 18 cell braille display which has a large set of features outside of being used as a braille terminal with Apple products. These include a 32 GB internal flashdisk, software to handle such things as spreadsheets, an FM radio, daisy player, and many more. It's very lightweight to carry around both as a device, and you'll also find your wallet is much more lightweight after purchasing this product at $3995. You can read more about all of the features in the u2 Mini here Now for the iDevice portion of this review. Pairing the Braille Sense product line with an iDevice is quite unique. You must first turn bluetooth on with the u2 Mini and then go in to terminal mode, which is standard. However, when asking the iDevice to pair with the Braille Sense, you'll enter whatever pin code you wish in to the iDevice, and then be prompted to do the same on the u2 Mini in computer braille. This is good, because you will not need to remember a unique pin code for more than a few seconds. Once paired, and this is only with iOS 6.0 and later, as well as Mac OSX 10.8 and later, you can do all of the standard functions that you'd use on a braille display. All commands, panning, and inputting text is the same as any other braille device. However, there are some unique things about the u2 Mini which are nice. As anyone who attempts to input contracted braille in to an iDevice knows, if you're a slow typer, this can be a very painful and frustrating process. Fortunately, with the sense line of products, there is a function called Terminal Clipboard. Terminal Clipboard allows you to use the u2 Mini's internal word processor to compose things. Once you press enter, the text you have typed in to the u2 Mini will then be sent to the iDevice, assuming you're in a text field. To activate Terminal Clipboard, pres space, enter, and I all at once. The Braille Sense will then say "terminal clipboard". Begin typing and press enter when done. Another great thing about the Braille Sense products is their ability to go out of terminal mode to get info from elsewhere within the operating system, and to then be able to reenter Terminal Mode and pick up right where one left off with the iDevice. This is also a function of the Braille Edge, and one I use regularly. The one draw-back to this note taker is the battery life. Most displays now have a 20 or 30 hour battery life, and this display only offers about 8 or 9 hours from my testing. To help compensate for this, HIMS includes a second battery, along with a charger, so that you can swap batteries on the go. While you certainly can pay less for a unit of 18 cells that has only the ability to function as a braille display for external devices, the Braille Sense u2 Mini offers a portable solution which packs a lot of other functions and features along with the ability to connect to an iDevice or Mac computer. For someone who requires a small note taker and who also wants to regularly work with an iDevice, this is certainly a good option

Devices Accessory Was Used With

iPhone
iPod Touch
iPad

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Comments

Submitted by Raul on Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Almost $4000, simply insane. That is the reason why I ignore more and more these products for the blind. Maybe some day these companies will return from their magic cloud of money.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Thursday, March 6, 2014

I doubt it Remember the government can and often does pay for this, not us, so these companies can and will charge because they can get away with it. Having dealt with this kind of stuff before I know this is so, sad but true.

Submitted by Krish on Thursday, May 29, 2014

If apple made braille notetakers they'd probably be the best notetakers in the world and the most costliest.

Submitted by Ambro on Saturday, June 27, 2015

Hi Scott and also other Guys that has this notetaker, I am Ambro from Italy. I've bought the BrailleSense U2 mini. I have some questions. The first is how can send files from my pc or mac to BrailleSense using Bluetooth? I've managed to connect the BrailleSense with Mac and Iphone using it as screen reader ecc. But when connect it to the mac and try to send files, tells me that braillesense had to accept it, but no message appears in the notetaker.
The second question is how can I use the dropbox application? Somebody tells that the support for that is brocken. Infact I can access to my files in dropbox, but I would to read them. But if I press enter on a file doesn't work, and if I try to download a file tells me download failed. Is there a workaround to do that?
Thanks!
Ambro