Whenever someone loses their eyesight temporarily or permanently due to an accident, illness or old age, a lot of the things that they used to do become either harder or impossible.
However, technology is continuously evolving, and gadgets that are there to take the place of computer displays have finally arrived.
These are known as Braille displays, and they manage to offer almost all of the functionality of a regular display in a way those that are visually impaired or completely blind could understand.
We’ve compiled a list of what we think are the best Braille displays that you could currently buy.
Note: Deals are subject to change. Keep in mind that the price tag often varies. We recommend going on the vendor’s website to check the price. Some of the products may be out of stock by the time you’ve made your purchasing decision. So, hurry up and hit the buy button.
What are the best Braille displays that I could buy?
- Perkins-style keyboard emulates the functions of a QWERTY keyboard
- Connects as a Braille terminal with all popular screen readers
- Pair up to 6 devices (5 Bluetooth plus 1 USB) simultaneously
- Long-life rechargeable battery lasts up to 24 hours
- Available with 14-cell display
- Ultra-portable Braille display
- Very affordable
- Incredibly light
- Seems unreliable, almost like a toy
The HIMS Smart Beetle is one of those devices that makes you second guess your decision on whether to buy it or not. At first glance, it looks like a very expensive toy, but once you try it you realize that the investment was well worth it.
You can connect it as a Braille terminal with all popular screen readers, including JAWS, Window-Eyes, NVDA, Voice-Over, Brailleback, etc.
- Simplistic and easy to use
- It is very compact
- The price tag
In today’s fast-paced world, vision-impaired professionals and students need a device that lets them stay connected and stay productive on the go, and the HumanWare Brailliant BI 14 is one such device.
It is an incredibly small and compact Braille display, making it easy to carry with you everywhere and it’s designed for ultimate efficiency without sacrificing ergonomics or comfort.
- For Braille Notetaker
- USB device
- LCD display
- Limited use outside of being an LCD display for a Braille Notetaker
If you’re slowly losing your vision and it is inevitable, it is a good idea to get a head start on learning Braille if you want to continue your hobby of reading books.
As you may have figured out from the name, the USB LCD Display for Braille Notetaker is a device that you attach to a Braille Notetaker so that you can see what you are writing in Braille, making it a good practice tool.
- USB and Bluetooth connectivity
- Perkins-style keyboard
- Multiple languages
- Braille notetaker
- The price tag
On the top of our list is the Braille EDGE 40 and for good reason. Not only is it the most powerful and versatile Braille display on the market, but it also has the basic features of a Braille Notetaker.
You can use it to do some of the most mundane of tasks, such as creating and saving notes or reading books and documents with the notepad.
You can even use the scheduler to remind you of important dates, use the alarm to remind you of upcoming appointments, or even use the built-in calculator, stopwatch, or timer.
Just because one person becomes blind, it doesn’t mean that they are condemned into a world of darkness where all of their favorite hobbies are cut off.
Technology now allows those that are partially or totally blind to continue reading books, interact with people on social media, and so on, and a Braille display is a perfect example of that.
FAQ: Learn more about gadgets for the visually impaired
- What can I use to tell time if I am visually impaired?
There are multiple gadgets specifically designed for those that are visually impaired.
For example, there are alarm clocks designed for the visually impaired.
- What other gadgets use the Braille language?
If you know reading Braille, then you can go ahead and try these smartwatches for the visually impaired. Some of them use Braile.
- Can the visually impaired read books?
Yes, they can, especially if they use modern ebook readers that are made for the visually impaired.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published in November 2019 and was revamped and updated in November 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.