Brailliant BI X: Text-to-Speech Update

Text-to-speech (TTS) has finally arrived on the Brailliant BI X series.

The BI X braille displays are the first to include text-to-speech, bringing you one step closer to a hybrid note-taking experience. The latest update unlocks text-to-speech capabilities for the BI 20X and BI 40X braille displays introducing a limited number of voices, including English, French, and Spanish. HumanWare plans to later include the option to download voices in other languages in the future.

What to expect with this new update?

When you update your Brailliant BI X, text-to-speech will be enabled according to your system language. If your system language is English, Spanish or French, it will be selected by default for the text-to-speech.

New options menu item called “Speech settings”

Upon installing the update, a new Speech settings item will appear under the Options menu. This new sub-menu will allow you to turn on and off various text-to-speech options and select your voices.

Click here to view a snapshot video – Overview of the speech settings

Helping you be more proficient in braille

With the new text-to-speech feature, it is possible to learn and understand new braille contractions. An option in the new speech settings allows you to hear the word under the cursor to have the text-to-speech announce the word you may not be familiar with. This can be very helpful when transitioning from uncontracted to contracted braille.

Click here to view a snapshot video: Using the Speak word under cursor feature

Stay in control of your text-to-speech

With new shortcuts to quickly turn speech on and off, you can always control how you want to utilize text-to-speech. You can also disable text-to-speech in the menus and limit its use to reading content from the KeyPad or Victor Reader application.

New shortcuts

  1. To start reading with text-to-speech, press Space + G
  2. To stop reading with text-to-speech, press Enter + Backspace 
  3. To toggle text-to-speech on and off, press Space + Previous thumb key 

The new setting within your language profile

Each language profile you create can have a different text-to-speech voice. Although limited to 2 voices, you can seamlessly switch between your language profiles and use the configured voice. If you are learning a foreign language like French, for example, you will need two different voices.You could have one language profile using the French voice with the correct braille table, and another profile using your English voice and braille table. Switching between two voices is a shortcut away.

Click here to view a snapshot video: Changing your content text-to-speech voice

How do I update my device?

The Brailliant BI X devices will silently download the activation key if connected to Wi-Fi. The next time you start the device, text-to-speech will be activated, provided you are using English, Spanish or a French language in the system. If you are unable to connect to the Wi-Fi, then follow these steps:

  1. Download the setTTSonbypass file and place the file on the root of an SD card or USB thumb drive.
  2. Insert the SD card or USB drive into the device.
  3. The Brailliant will detect the file and the system will reboot.
  4. After the reboot, the TTS is activated (provided French, English or Spanish system language is in use).
  5. Enjoy the new update!

What the expert is saying:

“With this update, you now have the first and only Braille Display with built-in text-to-speech. No other braille display has this capability. So helpful to a braille learner.  It is a significant feature to an already powerful braille display that has the ability to connect to Wi-Fi to download and read books, access BookShare, and much, much more.” -Michelle Perkins, Senior Assistive Technology Specialist, New England Low Vision and Blindness

The Brailliant BI X series of braille displays are available in two (2) options:

1. Brailliant BI 20X Braille Display

The NEW, portable 20-cell refreshable braille display is the perfect companion to any mobile device that makes reading enjoyable while keeping you connected on the go. The Brailliant BI 20X Braille Display is a portable, connected 20-cell refreshable braille display and the perfect companion to any mobile device!  Learn more about Brailliant BI 20X Braille Display

2. Brailliant BI 40X Braille Display

The new, future-ready 40-cell refreshable braille display is designed with connectivity and productivity in mind. With the introduction of Bluetooth 5 Wireless technology, the Brailliant BI 40X is the first to market braille display to take advantage of the robust and reliable connection, allowing for a pairing that is 2x faster and capable of 4x the distance over previous Bluetooth technology. The Brailliant BI 40X connects to multiple devices at once and delivers a smarter, more user-friendly experience to new refreshable braille display users.  Learn more about Brailliant BI 20X Braille Display

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