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OpenBraille ­ Technical Overview. Presenters: Siegfried Kipke – Handytech / Germany Thomas Friehoff – Baum Retec / Germany Topic: Technical overview for the planned standard Introduction to USB-HID Usage Table for Braille Devices. OpenBraille ­ Technical Overview.

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OpenBraille ­ Technical Overview

  • Presenters:

    • Siegfried Kipke – Handytech / Germany

    • Thomas Friehoff – Baum Retec / Germany

  • Topic:

    • Technical overview for the planned standard

    • Introduction to USB-HID

    • Usage Table for Braille Devices


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OpenBraille ­ Technical Overview

  • Technical overview for the planned standard

    • Physical interface

      • Old / Historical

        • Interface cards

        • Serial

        • Parallel

      • New / Current

        • USB

          • Problem : Drivers need to be installed.

        • Bluetooth


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OpenBraille ­ Technical Overview

  • Technical overview for the planned standard

    • Two levels of standardization

      • Protocol – level

        • USB-HID

          • Usage Table for Braille Devices

      • SDK (Code) – level

        • Definition of a the API

          • Arbitration between clients

        • Implementation of Services and Interfaces

          • Initially Windows Platform

          • Others planned: Linux / OS X / Symbian


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OpenBraille ­ USB-HID Devices

  • Introduction to “USB-HID-Devices”

    • Definition: The USB human interface device class ("USB HID class") is a USB device class that describes human interface devices such as keyboards, mice, game controllers, alphanumeric display devices and other devices.

    • Examples of already defined “other” devices:

      • Exercise machines

      • Thermometers

      • Audio controls

      • BUT NO BRAILLE DEVICE definition so far!


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OpenBraille ­ USB-HID Devices

  • Drivers

    • One of the benefits of a well-defined specification like the USB HID class is the abundance of device drivers available in most modern operating systems. Because of these generic descriptions, it is easy for operating system designers to include functioning drivers for devices such as keyboards, mice, and other generic human interface devices. The inclusion of these generic drivers allows for faster deployment of devices and easier installation by end-users.

  • What does this mean for blind Braille display users:

    • No need of inserting a CD. The Braille is immediately operational in the operating system


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OpenBraille ­ USB-HID Devices

  • USB-HID-Device Logical specification

    • Functional characteristics used to describe

      • The device

      • Interfaces

      • Communication over the USB-Protocol using

        • control pipe ( Think output of Braille dots)

        • interrupt pipe ( Think recognition of keys)

    • Reports

      • Definition of actions a key can perform

      • Examples:

        • Pan right, Goto Title, Toggle 6/8 Dot display…


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OpenBraille ­ USB-HID Devices

  • USB-HID-Device Usage Table for Braille Devices Document version 0.5 under review for submission to the USB-HID working group.

    • This document fully describes HID usages for USB Braille Devices.

    • This allows OpenBraille drivers to be simpler because they can rely on the HID Class driver for direct access to their devices and don’t need to be concerned with the interaction between the HID Class driver and lower system software layers.

    • This specification provides information to guide implementers in using the USB logical structures for OpenBraille Devices.

  • Expected submission by mid April 2010


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OpenBraille ­ USB-HID Devices

  • Future plans and actions

    • Submitting the Request for Braille devices to the USB-HID standardization body.

    • Implementing these standards into the hardware and firmware of the Braille displays ( Manufacturers )

    • Communicating with operating system designers (Microsoft) to integrate Braille API’s into the operating systems.

    • Designing and implementing OpenBraille Braille Driver binaries to support for current and future devices.

    • Getting the “Applications which want to talk Braille” to support this upcoming standard


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