# The Hable One: A Quality Braille Keyboard for Your Smartphone

By Karl Belanger

### Physical Layout and Build Quality

The Hable feels sturdier in the hand. It is clearly well built and should stand up to a lot of abuse. The Orbit reader feels somewhat more fragile. While it should be fine for general use, I’m less confident it would stand up over a longer period of time. The layout is also very different. The Orbit writer uses a standard Perkins layout, with the Spacebar plus dots 7 and 8 at the bottom, and the six dots across the top with a four-way Navigation button in the center. The Orbit Writer also uses Micro USB, where the Hable charges via USB C.

### Software Differences

Both the Orbit Writer and Hable One have significant strengths and weaknesses when it comes to their software. The Hable One handles Braille translation directly, removing the potential for inconsistencies between platforms. It also has a number of shortcuts and commands that work on both Android and iOS. The Orbit uses the platform’s Braille Translation, so is limited to whatever commands that screen reader supports. On the other hand, the Orbit is more broadly compatible, being able to function as a standard keyboard using computer Braille. It also works via USB or Bluetooth with computers. The Hable currently only supports updating over USB, and only supports typing via Bluetooth on Windows. I would very much like to see the Hable One introduce wired support and Windows/Mac compatibility in a future update. This would greatly increase its reach and appeal. If the Hable One could function as a keyboard with desktop operating systems, and still provide contracted Braille input, that would be very powerful.

## Conclusion

The Hable One is a solid device that does what it sets out to do quite well. The unit seems like it should hold up well, and the interface lets you do most things on a smartphone. There is definitely room for improvement on Android, and no real PCS support, but these issues can be improved with software updates. If you like the screen away mode of typing in Braille on your phone but want physical keys, or don’t find the Orbit Writer comfortable for typing on the go, definitely give the Hable One a look. The Hable One is available in the US through Florida Vision Technology, and you can find documentation at the main Hable One site