[NFBMO] Canute at CSUN pilot program begins other BBT news

nancy Lynn seabreeze.stl at gmail.com
Thu Apr 12 20:32:38 UTC 2018

I got this from another list and thought you'd be interested.
Here is a very informative email about the Canute braille display from
Braille, UK.  It's a multi-line display and could be very exciting for


March has been a busy month at Bristol Braille Technology, as we completed
the first of our Canute 360 pre-production prototypes ...

Good afternoon,

March has been a busy month at Bristol Braille Technology, as we completed
the first of our Canute 360 pre-production prototypes, continue to firm up
release and distribution plans, and embark on our final pre-release testing
period. We have put together this short email both to update our followers
on our progress developing hardware and software, and to provide news and
information about our testing, distribution and production plans, along with
news about upcoming events.  If you have any questions about Canute 360, or
would like to register an interest in ordering a Canute, please get in
contact at enquiries at bristolbraille.co.uk
<mailto:enquiries at bristolbraille.co.uk> .


Three Canute 360 pre-production prototypes have been completed at the
Hackspace and have now entered the testing programme.  All three Canutes are
performing better than the previous prototypes, and one Canute is currently
touring the UK for demonstrations, replacing the previous MK12 prototype
which was being used for this purpose.  We plan to have a further three
Canute 360 prototypes available for testing in North America in early May.
The CNIB in Canada and APH and NFB in America will be coordinating the North
American testing programme.


Software development for the Canute 360 continues apace. Changes to the user
interface based on feedback garnered during user testing of both Canute 360
and earlier Canute prototypes are being implemented. A new team-member, Zac,
has joined Bristol Braille, assisting Russ and Kaspar with hardware and
software communication.


Work continues to secure worldwide distribution for Canute 360 ahead of
release. We are excited to announce that we will be partnering with APH and
NFB in the United States and the CNIB in Canada for North American
distribution.  The North American testing initiatives are being coordinated
via these three organisations, and subject to successful completion of the
testing period, Canute 360 will be available at launch in North America
through these channels.

We hope to have information about EU and UK distributors shortly. We
anticipate Canute being available to UK and EU customers through these
channels at the same time as our North American release. We are also working
with distributors all around the world, so watch this space.


We have now entered the final Canute 360 user testing period, ahead of our
launch later this year. Over the coming months, we will be testing Canute in
a variety of real world settings, including in user’s homes, schools and at
summer camps for the visually impaired in the United States. We are
delighted to partner with New College Worcester, APH, CNIB and NFB, amongst
others, for our testing programme.


Subject to successful completion of the Canute pilot testing programme, we
intend to bring Canute 360 to market before September 2018. Canute 360 will
be available in the United States through our partners at APH and NFB and in
Canada through our partners at the CNIB.  UK distribution partners are still
to be confirmed, with discussions at an advanced stage. We hope to have more
information in the coming months.


Discussions are on going with several screen-reader developers regarding the
potential for Canute 360 to act as an output device, displaying data sent to
the unit in Braille over the full nine line display. While this presents a
significant development challenge (existing screen-reader output
technologies are calibrated for single-line Braille displays, meaning line
and page breaks require careful consideration), we are excited to be working
with some of the biggest names in the business to develop this

All our software is open source, and available from github
(https://github.com/Bristol-Braille), along with a Canute hardware emulator.
We would like to invite any interested JAWS or NVDA scripters to experiment
with our development kits themselves, and get involved with our development
process. We are always excited to hear about people’s ideas and progress at
enquiries at bristolbraille.co.uk <mailto:enquiries at bristolbraille.co.uk> .


The wholesale price is expected to be around £1,000. Retail prices may vary,
but Canute 360 will be significantly more affordable to than any 40-cell
single line display currently on the market.


Bristol Braille Technology will be attending Sight City Frankfurt, ICEB
mid-term meeting 2018 in Dublin, and the NFB conference in Orlando over the
coming months. If you plan to attend any of these events, please get in
touch to arrange a demonstration.  For the latest announcements of further
events and public demonstrations, please follow our twitter


Ed Rogers and Dave Williams representing Bristol Braille Technology took
2 Canute 360 prototypes to the 33rd CSUN Assistive Technology Conference
held in San Diego this March.

Blindness organizations and assistive technologists from North America,
Australia, New Zealand and the UK were keen to meet at CSUN to explore
Canute distribution arrangements, Canute interopability with screen reading
software and to learn more about Canute's ability to display tabulated
content, especially in education.

Canute was presented as part of the conference Program to an audience of 60
influential education professionals working with blind and low vision
students. We were particularly delighted to make contact with teachers from
the Texas School for the Blind and visually impaired who turned out in force
and provided valuable feedback about horizontal scrolling in spreadsheets
and navigating by print and Braille page numbers.

During the event, Ed and Dave appeared on “BlindBargains” podcast
demonstrating Canute 360. Audio and a transcript of the interview is
available here:

(By Dave Williams)


The first public demonstration of Canute 360 took place at the RNIB in Judd
Street on the 16th March, to a group of around 30 Braille reading musicians,
from young music students at New College Worcester to professional touring
musicians. Despite a truly herculean effort from the team to iron out
teething problems ahead of the event, unfortunately the Canute prototypes
did not perform as expected, owing to the (now resolved) memory corruption
problems which affected early-run Canute prototypes. Nevertheless, feedback
from the musicians at the event was almost universally positive. BBC’s “In
Touch” reported on the event, and the audio is available on iplayer here:

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ATI (Adaptive Technology Inc.)
A special interest affiliate of the Missouri Council of the Blind

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