Dot Pad Hardware

  • What is the Dot Pad?

    The Dot Pad is a refreshable tactile display that can show text and graphics to visually impaired people. It has one area for text and one for graphics which have 20 braille cells and 300 braille cells, respectively. The 20 braille cells in the text area can convey 20 alphabet letters (grade 1 standard). Braille cells in the graphics area are arranged at equal intervals on the top, bottom, left, and right sides. All braille cells have 8 pins.

  • What is the connectivity of the Dot Pad?

    Data communication using Bluetooth BLE and USB C is possible. In the case of USBC, there are separate ports for data transfer power supply.

  • What is Dot Pad’s operating system?

    The Dot Pad has an embedded system based on MCU (Microcontroller Unit). The OS contains firmware developed by Dot Incorp. Using Dot’s SDK, you can access and control the device.


  • What is AxBrailleMap?

    AxBrailleMap is one of Apple’s Accessibility APIs that supports displaying visual information such as images and graphs using Braille. You can use the Dot Pad by connecting it to your iPhone or iPad. To output tactile graphics created with AxBrailleMap to Dotpad using this API, VoiceOver must be turned on.

  • What is the minimum development environment required to apply AxBrailleMap?

    Use the latest Xcode with Xcode 13 or higher, which requires a Mac device with MacOS 12 Monterey or later. AxBrailleMap is included in the Cocoa Framework.

  • What is the parent object of AxBrailleMap?

    AxBrailleMap inherits from NSObject, which is the root object related to the base interface. It is written in Objective-C.

  • What is the minimum operating system version for AxBrailleMap to work?

    It works on iOS/iPadOS 15.2 or later. When applying AxBrailleMap to the application, the build target in Xcode must be set to iOS/iPadOS 15.2 or higher.

  • Do I need to use Dot’s SDK while using AxBrailleMap?

    If you have a Dot Pad connected to your Apple device with Voiceover turned on, you cannot use the Dot’s SDK. This is because iOS/iPadOS 15.2+ Voiceover is already using Dot Pad’s Bluetooth channel. Voiceover includes protocol information for Dot Pad control. If you want to use Dot’s SDK with iOS or iPadOS, VoiceOver must be turned off or the Bluetooth pairing with VoiceOver disconnected.

  • What are the instance types of AxBrailleMap?

    The instance property is dimensions that specify the tactile graphics area. Included instance methods are:
    – heightAtPoint:
    – presentImage:
    – setHeight:atPoint:
    to specify the position and size of the points composing the image.

  • Can I use AxBrailleMap for both the text and graphic area?

    Using AxBrailleMap, you can change the cells on the graphics area only. The text area is used to display text and symbols outputted by VoiceOver. This is mostly equivalent to outputting information to a braille display via the Braille HID used by a typical screen reader.


  • What is DotPadFramework, and what are the APIs?

    DotPadFramework is Dot’s library that allows you to display Braille and tactile images on the Dot Pad without using Apple’s AxBrailleMap. DotPadFramework has the 4 following APIs.

    Using Bluetooth(BLE), you can connect the Dot Pad with the iPhone or iPad to send messages to the Dot Pad or receive event information from the Dot Pad.

    This differentiates between Dot Pad device types. It includes the number of cells and allows you to decide the size and resolution of your image.

    You can create messages according to the Dot Pad device type, which is dependent on the number of cells in the Dot Pad, whether the Braille text area and the graphic area are separated, and so on. You can also import messages from the Dot Pad to the application.

    It calls the necessary Braille translator engine when displaying text to the text braille area. For details, refer to the Dot Pad SDK on GitHub.

  • Why must I use the DotPadFramework?

    – It can be used when trying to use the Dot Pad with a device that cannot be updated to iOS or iPadOS 15.2 or later

    – A user may need to turn off VoiceOver to use certain apps, such as games. In this case, DotPadFramework can be used to ensure accessibility for the user

    – DotPadFramework can be useful when creating apps that non-VoiceOver users can use. For example, teachers or content creators can use these apps to create tactile textbooks or teaching material.

  • What is the development environment for DotPadFramework?

    You can use DotPadFramework with Xcode 13.0+ and Swift 5.0+.

  • What is the minimum operating system version to use DotPadFramework?

    You can use it starting from iOS version 8.0.

  • Which languages are supported by DotPadFramework?

    Currently, Swift is supported. However, we are planning to support Kotlin for Android and C# for Windows in the near future.