Freedom Scientific Inc.
Freedom Scientific Inc
11800 31st Court North
St. Petersburg, Florida 33716-1805
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Copyright © 2017 Freedom Scientific, All Rights Reserved.
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The fifth generation Focus Blue refreshable braille display provides a compact, tactile interface to your computer. Used together with screen access software such as JAWS® for Windows, the Focus Blue can enhance your computing experience.
The Focus Blue includes the following features:
This device has no user-serviceable components. Any unauthorized attempt to service or replace internal components by opening the case will void the product warranty.
On the left side of the display, going from front to back, you will find the Power button and a micro USB-C port. The USB port allows you to connect the display to a computer using the supplied USB cable, or to the AC adapter.
The refreshable braille cells are located toward the front of the unit. There is a Cursor Router button above each braille cell. At each end of the display's surface are NAV Rockers used for easy navigation. Positioned above each NAV Rocker is a NAV Mode button which cycles through the different navigation modes.
Positioned directly above the Cursor Router buttons, there are eight keys similar to those on a Perkins-style braille keyboard. Going from the center, the left-hand keys contain the following: Dot 1 under the index finger, Dot 2 under the middle finger, dot 3 under the ring finger, and dot 7 under the little finger, while the right-hand contains: Dot 4 under the index finger, Dot 5 under the middle finger, Dot 6 under the ring finger, and Dot 8 under the little finger. These keys are used to enter text or perform commands. Between dots 1 and 4 is a Menu button which is used to access the Focus configuration menu as well as display Focus status information during an active connection. On the front edge, directly under and in the center of the display is a SPACEBAR. This key is used together with the braille keys when entering commands. A command that includes the SPACEBAR is commonly referred to as a chorded command. For example, L CHORD or DOTS 1-2-3 CHORD.
On the front edge of the display are the following controls, located from left to right. The layout of these controls is slightly different depending on what model of Focus you have.
Note: The following sections describe how these controls work when using the Focus Blue with JAWS. If you choose to use the Focus display with a third-party screen reading application on a computer or mobile device, refer to the documentation that came with the software as the functions of these controls may be different from how they work with JAWS.
The Focus NAV Rockers allow you to move quickly through files, dialog boxes, lists, and menus. In a file, you can move by line, sentence, paragraph, or pan backward and forward. To switch between the four navigation modes, press the NAV Mode button located directly above each NAV Rocker. In a dialog box, you can move between the available controls, and even interact with them. In a menu, you can move up and down through the menu items. You can also completely turn the NAV Rockers off by simultaneously pressing the Left or Right NAV Mode button and the SPACEBAR. Perform a Left or Right NAV Mode button CHORD once more to turn them back on.
The Focus Panning buttons pan left or right one display width each time they are pressed. Press the Left Panning button, the button with a raised double left arrow symbol, to pan left; press the Right Panning button, the button with a raised double right arrow symbol, to pan right. If you are using JAWS, the functions of the Panning buttons can be reversed so that pressing the Left Panning button will pan right and pressing the Right Panning button will pan left. Please refer to help for the JAWS Keyboard Manager for details on modifying these and other control assignments.
The Rocker bars provide movement up or down by line. Press the top of the Rocker bar to move up one line; press the bottom of the Rocker bar to move down one line. The Rocker bars, in combination with the Panning buttons, move to the beginning or end of the line on which the cursor is positioned. Press a Panning button and the top of a Rocker bar to move to the start of the line. Press a Panning button and the bottom of a Rocker bar to move to the end of the line.
Used by themselves, the concave-shaped Selector buttons control Auto Advance. Press both Selector buttons together to toggle Auto Advance on or off. Press the Left Selector button to decrease the Auto Advance speed or press the Right Selector button to increase the Auto Advance speed.
When pressed in combination with other controls, the Selector buttons perform multiple functions. For instance, pressing a Selector button and the top or bottom of a Rocker bar performs a page up or page down. You can also press a Selector button and the Right or Left Panning button to move to the top or bottom of a file.
The Shift buttons are used in conjunction with the SPACEBAR, braille keys, and other controls to enter commands. For example, when using JAWS, pressing LEFT Shift+DOT 4 or DOT 1 selects the next or previous line in a document.
There is a Cursor Router button located above each braille cell. Press a Cursor Router button to move the cursor to that point, or to select a link in a web page or email message. In line mode, press a Cursor Router button to open a menu or select menu items.
Press and hold the Left or Right Panning button while simultaneously pressing a Cursor Router button to simulate a right mouse click at that location.
You can also use the Cursor Routers to select text in documents. To select with the Cursor Router buttons, press and hold the Left Shift, then press the Cursor Router button above the text where you want to begin the selection. Release both keys. Move to where you want to end the selection, and press the Left Shift plus the Cursor Router button at that location. Use any navigation commands to move from the beginning point to the end point of the text you are selecting, even the NAV Rockers.
The power button turns the Focus on or off when not connected to USB. Press and hold it for approximately two seconds to turn the display on and press and hold it for approximately three and a half seconds to turn the display off.
The Focus Blue contains an internal battery for Bluetooth operation. While using the Focus over a Bluetooth connection, you will get approximately 20 hours for typical usage. To check the battery status while the display is in use, press the Menu button to display the percentage of battery charge used. Press the Left Selector button to return to normal operation.
When the battery is at 20 percent, 10 percent, and 5 percent respectively, a low battery warning is displayed indicating it is time to plug in the AC adapter. You can dismiss this message by pressing a Cursor Router button. In addition, once the battery drops below 10 percent, dots seven and eight in the last five cells will show each percentage drop. For example, when the battery is at one percent, dot 8 in the last cell will be raised.
Use the AC adapter supplied with your unit to charge the battery. The unit takes three hours to charge using the supplied AC adapter even when the Bluetooth connection is active. Charging time will be less if the battery is not completely discharged before the display is plugged in. The Focus will also charge while connected to a computer using the USB cable, however, charging time will take longer than with the supplied AC adapter. As the Focus charges, the battery charging indicator, a circle of dots, is displayed to the right of the percentage until the unit reaches 100 percent. You can continue using the Focus while it is charging.
Caution: No user serviceable parts. Risk of High Voltage shock.
You can connect the Focus braille display to your computer using either the supplied USB cable or wirelessly over Bluetooth. If you connect using USB, the display is powered from the computer through the USB connection cable. This also charges the internal battery. As soon as you connect the USB cable to the computer, the Focus immediately turns on. When the USB cable is removed, the Focus turns off.
Bluetooth is a short-range wireless communications technology. Devices with Bluetooth capabilities can communicate with each other over a distance of about 10 meters (30 feet) without requiring a physical connection. Using the Focus wirelessly over Bluetooth means you do not have any cables to worry about and you can relax on your couch and use the Focus as both a braille display and keyboard to access your computer from across the room.
In order to use Bluetooth, you must establish a partnership with a Bluetooth enabled computer. The majority of modern notebook computers and mobile phones as well as some models of desktop computers offer built-in Bluetooth support. However, not all computers offer this. If your computer does not have built-in Bluetooth, you will need to purchase an external USB Bluetooth adapter and install the appropriate drivers on your system to enable this functionality. Refer to the documentation that came with your Bluetooth hardware to ensure Bluetooth is properly configured on your computer.
The Focus Blue supports up to five Bluetooth connections and one USB connection. This means that you can use the Focus over USB with your desktop computer and also set up Bluetooth connections to your phone and tablet. See the Connections section of this manual for more information about managing active connections.
JAWS automatically installs the files necessary to use the Focus Blue during the JAWS installation. However, if you choose to use the Focus display with another screen reading application, you must install the driver from the Companion CD by doing the following:
Note: Disconnect the Focus display from your computer when performing the following steps. Having the display connected during this process results in improper installation and failure of the display to operate properly.
To configure the Focus Blue braille display to operate with JAWS over USB, do the following:
Note: If you are using a third-party screen reading application, refer to the documentation that came with the software as this procedure might be different.
In order to use the Focus Blue with JAWS wirelessly over Bluetooth, you must first configure a Bluetooth partnership between the Focus and computer.
To set up a Bluetooth partnership between the Focus display and computer, do the following:
You must now configure JAWS to use the Bluetooth connection. Note that it is not necessary to first establish a USB connection before using Bluetooth. If you have not yet set up a USB connection with the Focus display, do the following:
Note: If you are using a third-party screen reading application, refer to the documentation that came with the software as these procedures might be different.
If you are currently using the Focus display over USB and you want to switch the connection to use Bluetooth, do the following:
Once JAWS is configured to communicate with the Focus Blue over Bluetooth, you can switch back and forth between the USB and Bluetooth connection. You can also configure JAWS to automatically detect the Bluetooth connection without the need to first restart the application by turning on the "Auto Detect Braille Display Using Bluetooth" option in Settings Center.
To check the battery status, press the Menu button to display the percentage of battery power remaining. The letters “BT” are also displayed in the cells near the right end of the display to indicate the Bluetooth connection is active. Press the Left Selector button to return to normal operation.
You can use the Focus Blue as a Bluetooth display with mobile devices that run Apple’s iOS™ and Google’s Android™ operating systems. Instructions for pairing the Focus with iOS or Android devices as well as some useful commands are available on the Focus Companion CD or the Freedom Scientific website.
Note: Apple devices must be running iOS 11 or later in order to pair with the Focus display.
When initially pairing the Focus Blue with another Bluetooth device, ensure the display is powered on and not connected to USB. Once paired, you can connect the USB cable and then use the procedure described in the next section, or the display’s Connections menu (described later in this manual), to move between active connections.
If you are using the Focus display with multiple active connections, press the Menu button in conjunction with DOT 1 through DOT 5 to quickly switch to one of the five Bluetooth connections, or DOT 8 to switch to the USB connection. For example, if the Focus display is connected to your iPhone, but you are currently using the display with your computer over a USB connection, press Menu+DOT 1 to switch to the Bluetooth connection assigned to the phone. After performing your necessary tasks with your phone, press Menu+DOT 8 to switch back to the USB connection to resume using your computer.
From an active connection, you can also press the Menu button to display the Focus status message and then press DOTS 1-2-3 to cycle between USB and your paired Bluetooth devices. If the status message is still displayed after switching to a connection, unlock your device so it will detect the display and activate the connection.
The following sections briefly describe JAWS features that are available when the Focus display is connected to your computer. If you choose to use a different screen reader, or you are using the Focus with a mobile device, refer to the documentation that came with the software for braille features provided by the particular application.
The BrailleIn™ feature allows you to use the Perkins-style braille keyboard on your Focus display to control your computer. Using the keyboard along with other Focus controls, you can perform all Windows and JAWS commands that you can do from a regular QWERTY keyboard. In addition, you can also enter text using contracted or uncontracted braille. For more information about BrailleIn, refer to the JAWS Help.
Braille Study Mode is a training tool for teaching and learning braille. When Braille Study Mode is on, JAWS will announce the current braille character in a display cell when you press the Cursor Router button immediately above that cell. When you press the particular Cursor Router button in conjunction with the Left or Right Selector button, JAWS will announce and spell the braille word.
To enable Braille Study Mode, do the following:
In addition, the following commands are available even when Braille Study Mode is disabled:
This is useful when you need a quick reminder, but you do not want to go through the process of turning on Braille Study Mode as previously described.
Note: JAWS returns to normal operation after announcing the braille character or word.
You can specify if the informational Status Cells are to be located on the left or right end of the display, or choose to not display them at all. The status cells are located at the left end of the display by default.
To configure the placement of the status cells, do the following:
Specify the firmness of the braille dots on the Focus display. There are five levels of firmness. Adjust the display to the level of firmness most suited to the sensitivity of your fingers.
To configure the dot firmness, do the following:
When using your Focus Blue in front of your computer’s QWERTY keyboard, you can lock the Perkins-style keys on the top of the display to prevent accidentally pressing them and entering unwanted text or commands.
To lock the Focus Blue keyboard, press the Menu button to display the status information and then simultaneously press a Cursor Router and the Left NAV Mode button. To indicate that the keyboard is locked, dots 2-3-4-6-7-8 and dots 1-3-5-6-7-8 will be displayed in two cells toward the right end of the display, just before the connection status. Press the Left Selector button to return to normal operation. Once locked, pressing DOTS 1 through 8 or the SPACEBAR will no longer send keystrokes through to the computer.
To unlock the keyboard so you can once again enter text or perform commands from the Focus Blue, press the Menu button to display the status information and then simultaneously press a Cursor Router and the Right NAV Mode button. Press the Left Selector button to return to normal operation and you can once again enter text using the Focus Blue keyboard.
Pressing the Menu button while the Focus status message is displayed activates a menu in which you can configure various Focus Blue settings. The available menu options are described in the following sections.
When the menu first opens, you are on the Bluetooth ID. To move through the available menu items, use the Rocker bars or press DOTS 4-5 CHORD or DOTS 1-2 CHORD. Press the Right Shift button or DOT 8 on a menu item to access its settings. To move through the available options for a setting, use the Rocker bars. To exit the submenu and save any changes you have made, press DOT 8 or the Right Selector button. Press Z CHORD (DOTS 1-3-5-6 CHORD) or the Left Selector button to exit a submenu without saving any changes and once more to exit the main menu and return to the active connection.
This displays the Bluetooth ID used by the Focus Blue to identify itself when pairing the display with a computer or mobile device. Each Focus display has its own unique Bluetooth ID. This is useful if you will be pairing the Focus with a computer in an environment where there are other Focus Blue displays with Bluetooth enabled and you want to make sure you pair the correct one.
This option controls how fast the NAV Rockers on the display repeat when held down for a length of time, such as when you want to scroll quickly through the items in a list. The four settings are off, slow, medium, and fast. Off is indicated by a full braille cell at the far left of the display in cell one. Two full braille cells indicate slow, three full braille cells indicate medium, and four full cells indicate fast. By default, two full cells are shown, which means the repeat is set to slow.
This menu option lets you specify how long the Focus display waits after a control is pressed before it goes to sleep. You can choose to have the display go to sleep after 5, 15, 30, or 45 minutes of inactivity. The number 5 is indicated by dots 2-6, 15 by dot 2 and dots 2-6, 30 by dots 2-5 and dots 3-5-6, and 45 by dots 2-5-6 and dots 2-6.
The Clock submenu allows you to set the time, which is displayed as part of the status message.
To set the time, do the following:
The Calendar allows you to set the date, which can be displayed at any time by simultaneously pressing the Menu button and the letter D (DOTS 1-4-5). Press a Cursor Router to return to normal operation.
To set the date, do the following:
This submenu allows you to specify the firmness of the braille dots when viewing Focus status information, navigating the menus, or other internal messages. There are five levels of firmness: 0 percent, 25 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent, and 100 percent. Use the Rocker bars to select a level and then press DOT 8 or the Right Selector button. The new dot firmness setting will immediately take effect. Pressing Z CHORD (DOTS 1-3-5-6 CHORD) or the Left Selector button will return to the main configuration menu without saving the change.
Note: If the dot firmness value set by a screen reader is different from the value set through the Focus configuration menu, the value from the screen reader will continue to be used even when the display is no longer communicating with the application. You can reset your preferred level of firmness when the display is not being used over USB or Bluetooth with a screen reader that also controls dot firmness.
Activating this menu item displays a list of active connections. To indicate the currently active connection, dots 7 and 8 are displayed under the connection name.
Use the Rocker bars to navigate to the connection you want to use and press DOT 8 or the Right Selector button to switch to it. For example, if the Focus is connected over USB to your primary computer running JAWS and you receive a text message on your iPhone that you want to read and respond to using the braille display, you can switch to the Bluetooth connection for your phone, respond to any messages, and then switch back to USB to resume braille access to your computer.
Note: Android and iOS devices must first be locked before the display is switched from USB to Bluetooth connectivity. Once the display is switched to Bluetooth, unlock your mobile device so that it will find the display and begin using it as usual. Once the connection is established, you can switch between connections without having to first lock and unlock the device.
To delete a specific connection, use the Rocker bars to navigate to it in the list and press LEFT SHIFT+D (DOTS 1-4-5) or Left Shift+Right Selector. When prompted, press Y (DOTS 1-3-4-5-6) or the Right Selector button to delete the connection, or N (DOTS 1-3-4-5) or the Left Selector button to cancel the deletion.
To delete all connections in the list, use the Rocker bars to navigate to “Clear connections list” and press DOT 8 or the Right Selector. When prompted, press Y (DOTS 1-3-4-5-6) or the Right Selector to delete all connections, or N (DOTS 1-3-4-5) or the Left Selector button to cancel the deletion.
Note: If you delete the pairing for an active connection that is still in use, after confirming the deletion, you must turn the display off and back on to finish removing the connection.
This submenu lets you choose the language that is used for the status message and when navigating in the menus. Use the Rocker bars to select a language and then press DOT 8 or the Right Selector button. Pressing Z CHORD (DOTS 1-3-5-6 CHORD) or the Left Selector button will return to the main configuration menu without saving the change.
The Focus braille display has built-in diagnostic tests for the Cursor Router buttons, braille display, NAV Rockers, NAV Mode buttons, braille keys, Panning buttons, Rocker bars, and Selector buttons.
Before entering Diagnostics Mode, disconnect the Focus from your computer and make sure it is powered off.
Simultaneously, press the first two Cursor Router buttons farthest to the left (above cells one and two) while pressing the Power button. The text, "press cr key/nav/panel keys," is displayed to indicate that Diagnostics Mode has been entered.
Press the Power button again by itself to exit Diagnostics Mode.
The routing button test ensures that each of the cursor router buttons on the braille display work properly. Press any Cursor Router button to activate all dots in the cell below the button.
It is necessary to disconnect the Focus Blue from your computer and make sure it is powered off before beginning this test. The display test is used to ensure that each pin on the braille display can be activated. The display test also allows you to clean the braille display. Press the Power button while pressing the rightmost Cursor Router buttons (above the last two cells) simultaneously. This action causes all cells to be activated for cleaning. Use a soft cloth moistened with isopropyl alcohol. Do not use any other substance to clean the cells.
While in this mode, pressing down on either the Right or Left NAV Rocker will cause all of the cells to be deactivated. Pressing up on either the Left or Right NAV Rocker will reactivate all cells.
Pressing the Left or Right NAV Mode button causes the cells to toggle up and down. To stop this action, press the NAV Mode button again.
The key and controls test ensures that each of the keys and controls operate properly. You can begin the key test after entering Diagnostics Mode by pressing any of the keys or controls listed in the table below. The braille display reflects each key that is pressed. Refer to the following table for the exact dot position for each of the keys. Press each of the keys and controls and verify that the appropriate response is displayed.
|Left Shift button||kls|
|Right Shift button||krs|
|Left Panning button||pl|
|Right Panning button||pr|
|Left Selector button||sl|
|Right Selector button||sr|
|Left NAV Mode button||nml|
|Left NAV Rocker Up||nlu|
|Left NAV Rocker Down||NLD|
|Right NAV Mode button||nmr|
|Right NAV Rocker Up||nru|
|Right NAV Rocker Down||nrd|
|Left Rocker Switch Up||rlu|
|Left Rocker Switch Down||rld|
|Right Rocker Switch Up||rru|
|Right Rocker Switch Down||rrd|
Before entering this mode, disconnect the Focus from your computer and make sure it is powered off. Press the Power button while simultaneously pressing the Cursor Router button above cell two. The Focus displays additional information about the internal battery.
|The display will not turn on.||Charge the battery using the supplied AC adapter, or by connecting the Focus to a computer using the USB cable. The unit will always power on when connected to USB. If not connected to USB, make sure you press and hold the Power button for at least two seconds.|
|The battery is not charging or is taking longer to charge than expected.||Make sure you are charging the Focus Blue using the Freedom Scientific supplied AC adapter. The battery takes a maximum of three hours to charge using the supplied AC adapter. If you are charging the Focus using a USB connection to your computer, the battery will take longer to charge. To verify the Focus is charging correctly, press the Menu button to display the Focus status information.|
|Extra dots are appearing on the display and dots are sticking.||Clean the display by activating the Display Test diagnostic mode then use a soft cloth moistened with isopropyl alcohol to clean the cells. Refer to the Display Test/Clean section of this manual for more information.|
|The Focus display is not communicating with the computer.||If you are using JAWS, make sure JAWS is properly installed on your computer. If you are using a third-party screen reading application, you must install the driver from the Focus Companion CD before you can use the display. See the section, Connecting the Focus, for more information on configuring both USB and Bluetooth.|
Temperature 0 to 45 C (32 to 113 F)
Temperature 5 to 35 C (40 to 95 F)
You can contact Technical Support to receive technical assistance.
To contact by web, visit www.FreedomScientific.com/Forms/TechSupport, and complete the form to submit questions.
To contact by email, send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact by telephone, U.S. customers can call (727) 803-8600, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM (Eastern Time).
When you call, please provide the following information:
Congratulations on your purchase of the fifth generation Focus Blue Braille display.
The unit and its accessories come with a two-year warranty against manufacturing defects.
Note: These devices have no user-serviceable components. Any unauthorized attempt to service or replace internal components by opening the case will void the product warranty.
Please call VFO Technical Support at (727) 803-8600 for assistance in troubleshooting any problems. If necessary, the technical support specialist will issue a Return Materials Authorization (RMA) number that must be referenced on the outside of the package containing your returned unit. The unit or its accessory will then be exchanged or repaired as needed.