What are people's thoughts on the Hable One braille keyboard

Braille on Apple Products

Hi, what are people's thoughts on the Hable One? I would love if someone did a podcast on it and or a review. Thanks.



Submitted by Harryubu on Monday, January 17, 2022

When out and about, especially in winter, I keep my iPhone in an inner zipped pocket with another coat on top. So it is a relief to be able to use less expensive and less vulnerable Hable on lanyard or in easy access pocket. It can unlock my iPhone and control all its features without needing to get my iPhone out. I hear VoiceOver through my Phonak Marvel hearing aids.

Submitted by Dennis Long on Monday, January 17, 2022

@Harryubu Can you use the…@Harryubu Can you use the hable to hold down the voice message button in iMessages telegram etc.? Can you press and hold say the number1? This is common in the states to access voice mail. @Mitch I agree with you a demo would be a wonderful thing.

Submitted by Bobby on Monday, January 17, 2022

Hi everybody!
Here'a a short review of the Hable One.
It is a device for Braille input and controlling your iOS or Android Phone or tablet. It has about the size of a iPhone 7/8/SE2 and weighs less than 100 grams. You hold it in two hands, like you would hold your iPhone when using BSI in away mode. It has 8 keys. In one row the dots 1,2 and 3, parallel to the first row the second row with the dots 4,5 and 6. Next to the rows is on the left the key 7, on the right the key 8. You insert Braille in Six-Dot-Braille. There is no speech output. When you control your mobile device, Hable One gives vibrations. To type numbers, you insert the numeric sign followed by the letters A to J. It has a USB-C-port to charge it and to upgrade the firmware. Hable One gives you the opportunity to leave your phone or tablet in the pocket and to control your mobile device remotely. You insert Braille like on a Perkins-style-keyboard, to control your device you press certain combinations with a long press, p.ex. Press dots 1,2 and 5 (letter H) brings you back to the home screen, press dots 1,3 and 4 mutes VO, for volume down press dots 1,2 and 6 etc. You can navigate in a text, use the VO rotor etc.
It comes in a box containing the Hable One controller, a USB C charging cable, a lanyard strap for your wrist and a warranty and safety document. You can download the manual on the homepage of Hable One in word or PDF. At the moment there are still some problems with some signs, but that will be soon set by an firmware upgrade, as well as the addition of a hotkey to use the dictation function and the 8-dot-Braille-input. To get to the Hable One menu itself, press dots 1,2,3,4,5 and 6. There you can set the operating system (iOS or Android), set the duration of the holding time, put the language to Dutch, Belgium, English (UEB), French or German, check the battery status.
I hope that helps to give you an impression of the Hable One and its functionality.
I have mine for about two weeks now and I like it.
Cheers, Bobby

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Monday, January 17, 2022


this looks good. I'm looking for an imput device that is faster than on screen brailling or typing for my ipad mini 6. This might be the answer.

Is it possible to pair it with multiple devices, EG my iphone and my ipad mini? Thanks

Submitted by Bobby on Monday, January 17, 2022

You can pair it only to one device at a time. To pair it to another device, you have to cut the existing bluetooth connection. But pairing is fast and easy.

Submitted by Brad on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

I'm sorry to say it's not a display, it's a keyboard using braille commands; it uses voiceover as the speach output so you can hear what's going on.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Consider that it cannot pair with multiple devices and it is basically a keyboard with far fewer keys, it is absurdly expensive, £285 here in the UK.

I know we, myself one of them, complain that our apple devices are expensive and that they don't work all the time as we want, but it does make me forget about the disability tax of small production devices such as something like this and brail displays that are overpriced based on the hardware. I know that research and development is a factor in the cost, but it is us who have to pick up the bill.

don't get me started on brail displays... It is a stagnant field that hasn't changed in the last three decades. It is about time they brought the prices down or, at the very least, found a cheaper solution to the apparent cost of a brail cell. it's just a few magnets and solenoids. So very basic.

Anyway, I'll stop ranting.

My thoughts are, if you want an input device, get a nice bluetooth keyboard. it's faster to type, better supported and you'll most likely be able to use it with multiple devices. If you want to brail, learn how to use the on screen keyboard. It's free and is just as fast, doesn't require batteries.

If this keyboard was £100, I'd feel differently, but it's not a viable alternative.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Another poster said it cannot? How many devices can it pair with?

Submitted by Scott Davert on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

It seems like the cheaper Orbit Writer may be a better option. Not only can you save a lot of money, but it does support multiple connections. The keyboard lay-out appears to be a bit different, so that could be worth purchasing if you prefer a verticle lay-out to a horizontal one.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Wednesday, January 19, 2022

That comparison would appear to be written by the Hable One manufacturer so I think it might be rather biased.

Submitted by Joe on Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Club AppleVis Member

That review is completely biased! Yes the orbit writer is made of cheaper materials but still feels decent. Not to mention you can definitely type on the go if you put it to your chest on a lanyard. i’m not writing 30 page documents while on the go lol! I also thought it was sort of a jerk move to link to a form here on applevis correct me from wrong but their devices also using Bluetooth to connect so the same issues could conceivably happen. Also while taking shots at orbit they ask for forgiveness for being a young company working with software. I’m sorry so many times in the blindness industry i’m promised a lot of things that never end up happening so we’ll just see on updates!

Submitted by Scott Davert on Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Thank you for sharing their blog post, Will. It didn't give me a lot of concrete reasoning to choose their product over the Orbit Writer, it came off as a competitor trashing another competitor to me. Also, I'm not sure how the navigation can be made any more simple since the Orbit Writer has arrow keys and any kind of navigation you would want can be programmed as a braille command. If Hable1 had a very robust set of commands for Android, that may be something, though we really don't know. I'd be curious to check this device out, but it doesn't appear to be available in the U.S. Maybe one can purchase it through RNIB and pay even more since you would have to deal with currency exchanges, more expensive shipping, etc.

Submitted by Saj on Wednesday, January 19, 2022

To be honest we can all pontificate and make the arguments for one thing being better than the other but at the end of the day I have the device myself and yes it probably costs more and from a financial point of view it is quite a lot but for what it actually does it is really good. I’ve never had the orbit writer so I can’t compare it to something but I think it should be about things can do for you rather than what the comparisons are. I’m not saying it’s a fair market and some companies may charge more than others but from what I can tell I can use my phone and I don’t even have to take the phone out of my pocket if I so wish. I guess once you buy something and you try out its features and facilities then you can just stick with that and as long as it does the job for you you can sit around all day trying to figure out the pros and cons but if you have the device and go for it then you may as well look at the positives. Personally I have not tried it on an android device and it seems to have more functionality but for me I’m looking at it from a point of view where I can just simply take out the keyboard and type and not have to Think about using the on-screen keyboard. So in summary, from my point of view it’s more about convenience and simplicity. Sorry, I hope this does not come across as an aggressive post it’s really not intended to be like that.
Hope y’all have a good day :)

Submitted by Dennis Long on Wednesday, January 19, 2022

I believe you purchase direct from Hable. I'm not sure of the price.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Wednesday, January 19, 2022

It's close on £300 in the UK.

Of course, it is a slightly different approach to a common problem, writing on the go. It sounds like a good solution and, if I could afford it, I might well go for it, but it just seems expensive.

The blog article also put me off. I believe products should be able to stand up for themselves without doing a comparative review with a competitor. This is the sort of thing I'd expect in mass market devices, not in the accessible devices market where I'd like to think, even when it comes to business, they're working to a similar goal of making our lives a bit better. Naive of me, I'm sure.

A companies ethos is important. This blog post was not only poor form but also is presented in such a way to appear impartial, or written in such a way as to trick the reader into believing it is so.

Whoever is marketing for this company should take note. Even if the product is great, which it may well be, such insincere and amateur marketing can only be damaging.

Submitted by PinkCupcake5 on Sunday, January 30, 2022

I need a small physical keyboard that I can pull up and start typing, and whatever I type automatically goes to an application (like notes or OneNote, or SimpleNote). Can any of these products do this, or does something like this exist? I'm guessing it's a pipedream but figured I would ask. I haven't found a fast enough way to write down random things that pop into my head without using dictation.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Monday, January 31, 2022

On screen brail keyboard if you are comfortable with brail. There is also the option of voice notes.

The nice thing about IIOS is that there are several ways to get ideas down. I'd recommend also looking into shortcuts. I've got them set up on my home screen to create a new note in specific folders, cool ideas, notes for novel, life observations... That sort of thing.

Give me a shout @oliverkennett on twitter if you need a hand setting that up.

The problem with devices for such quick notes is that,by the time you've got them out, set up and ready to go, you've actually added more complexity to the process.

Submitted by PinkCupcake5 on Monday, January 31, 2022

The problem is not with quickly creating a note but with typing it out. Dictation is not a good option in a lot of situations and I am just not fast enough on the iOS keyboard despite being an iPhone user for nine years now

Submitted by Saj on Monday, January 31, 2022

I have the hable one and I find it works for me as you hold the keyboard away from you and I have become quite proficient in typing quickly on that. Although I do still use on-board Braille screen input but I must admit I’m still quite slow in typing that way.

Submitted by Lielle ben simon on Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Hi, I have my Braille Display "Brailleiant BI 40 X" and it's inouth for me. I don't think that there are advantege for Braille Keybord without a Braile Display.
I have purchased the Brailliant and I am happy with that.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Tuesday, February 1, 2022

I think if you can't use the on screen brail display to take short notes this device isn't really going to work any better. Persist with on screen brail if I were you.

As the previous poster says, a brail keyboard without the actual brail cells isn't really worth it.

It might also be worth looking at foldable keyboards which can be good for rapid screen input though, in my experience, can be a frustration with more advanced navigation. They do also have the advantage of being £50 or less though.

Submitted by LadyMunch on Friday, February 11, 2022

I'm curious what the hable's keys feel like when typing. I get the impression of rubber jelly keys, which I would hate. Thoughts?

Submitted by Holy Diver on Thursday, March 10, 2022

For me nothing does this kind of quick notetaking better than a braille display with some sort of text editor built in. I know that's more expensive than even the priciest iPhone but I don’t know of anything better for that use case. At least with the QBraille I use you can set it to open up a new blank notepad every time you turn the thing on and I find that super useful.