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Introducing Mantis Q40, The First Bluetooth Keyboard Which Keeps Braille At Your Fingertips
APH, in partnership with HumanWare, is excited to introduce the Mantis Q40. Consisting of a full size QWERTY, laptop-style keyboard, with a built-in 40 cell refreshable braille display, the Mantis ensures that students and professionals don’t have to sacrifice the use of braille when typing on a keyboard.
The Mantis Q40 connects to any device — simply connects via USB or Bluetooth, and the Mantis is immediately functioning as that device’s keyboard. At the same time the student or professional is typing on the Mantis, the refreshable braille below the keyboard is providing a multimodal braille complement to the screen reader, ensuring the student is continuing to use their literacy skills.
In addition to functioning as a keyboard and braille display with other devices, the Mantis also contains the following:
- Basic editor to function as a user’s pen and paper
- Book reader to download and read books in braille
- Calculator to perform basic mathematics calculations
- Clock to check the date and time
- File manager to organize one’s work
- 16 GB of internal storage
- USB-C charging port
The Mantis Q40 will be available to Federal Quota customers and for standard purchase. APH expects to begin fulfilling Mantis orders by the end of May; however, the current outbreak of SARs-CoV-2 (Coronavirus) has caused delays in overseas manufacturing of the Mantis’ green TPU bumper case which could delay order fulfillment. If you are as excited about the Mantis as we are, please subscribe to the waiting list below to receive ongoing information and status updates, and be the first to know when the Mantis is available for purchase.
About the Mantis
Frequently Asked Questions
The Mantis is a first of its kind braille device providing an all in one solution for users who want to keep braille at their fingertips while utilizing a Bluetooth QWERTY keyboard. A user no longer needs to carry both a Bluetooth keyboard and braille device, along with their computer / mobile tool, or choose between choosing braille or not if they are using a QWERTY keyboard. The Mantis is small enough to fit easily in one’s laptop or tablet bag and has the internal intelligence to be a powerful tool in a classroom or job environment.
Yes, it comes with a protective shell case which protects the sides and back of the device. A professional carrying case from Executive products can be purchased as an additional accessory.
Mantis Q40 will be compatible with:
- Windows 8 and above using Jaws 18+, NVDA and Narrator
- MAC OS 10.15+ Catalina
- iOS 13.4+
- Android and ChromeOS
The dimensions are 29cm x 17cm x 2 cm or 290mm x 170mm x 20mm
Weight = 786 grams or 1.7LB
The Mantis Q40 supports several file formats.
The editor application supports:
DOC, DOCX, TXT, BRF and BRL
The Library application supports:
BRF, PEF, TXT, HTML, DOCX, NISO and RTF
Yes, the maximum file handling size is 100MB. If a file exceeds this size you will receive a “file too large to open” notification.
Yes, to avoid BRF files from being translated open the BRF file using the Library application. This can be very useful if you want to read a BRF file as it is without any further translation. Example of this could include braille music or simply a BRF file that contains a mix of braille tables (Contracted and uncontracted)
Mantis’s battery will provide you at minimum 15 hours of usage and is user replaceable with the removal of two screws on the back of the device.
Via a USB C connection on the left side of Mantis
Yes, the F12 key acts as a toggle between QWERTY and perkins style braille input. When using braille input, the FDS keys serve as dots 123, and the JKL keys serve as dots 456.
Yes, the Mantis Q40 offers a USB host port for thumb drives and an SDHC slot for SD cards. In addition the Mantis itself contains 16 GB of internal storage
Books can either be read from one of the available storage media, (USB thumb drive, SD card, or internal storage), or by connecting your Mantis Q40 to an available wireless network. Once connected to WIFI, you can download books from Bookshare or NFB Newsline.
Yes, Bookshare books can be downloaded and navigated using the DAISY elements.
Yes. Providing a thumb drive or SD card with files in the .doc, .docx, .txt, .brf and .brl format can all be read using the Mantis’s internal applications. Mantis has an internal braille translator and provides fantastic forward and backward braille translation.
Yes, thanks to Mantis’s multiple language profiles, you can set multiple language options depending on the language you are typing or reading. If you need to go to a Spanish class for example, you simply change your language profile to Spanish from within the Mantis settings, and the braille and translation will be changed to your preferred Spanish braille table.
Yes, if you have previously created multiple language profiles you can simply press CTRL+ALT+L to toggle through your created profiles. This is extremely useful if while in a document you wish to change your braille reading to a native foreign language such as French or Spanish.
Yes, when setting up your Braille profile you are asked to configure your preference for contracted braille and uncontracted braille. Please refer to “How to create a new Braille profile” if you need to create a new Braille profile. This is a great hidden gem that allows you as a user to control what is shown on the braille display. If you come across a contracted word that you are not familiar with, pressing CTRL+ALT+G will toggle from contracted braille to uncontracted thus expanding the word, allowing you to learn the contraction.
No, If keys have become dislodged or completely removed please contact APH technical support for assistance.
The thumb keys functions are, from far left to far right, up, left, right, and down. The two outer thumb keys move you up and down in a document or menu, while the left and right thumb keys pan the display left or right one display width.
From the device’s main menu, navigate to the settings menu and activate it with enter or a router key. Navigate to the About option and activate it. From within this menu, you will see the version number.
You can update the Mantis in two ways. The simplest is by connecting it to WIFI. When connected, the Mantis Q40 will automatically recognize there is a new firmware available, and prompt you to download and install it. Alternatively you can put the .SWU file you download from the APH web site to a thumb drive or SD card, insert them into the Mantis, and within around 30 seconds the device will restart and you will see a progress indicator. Do not remove the storage media or power off the Mantis Q40 during the update process.
Please note, the Mantis will need a minimum of 10% battery to perform the upgrade. It is advised to plug in the power chord before updating.
The recommend maximum size of SD card is 64 GB.
This button acts as the device’s home button. When accessing local content on the Mantis, the home button will bring you to the device’s main menu. When connected to an external device such as a computer or smartphone, pressing this button will bring you back to the local interface where you can change devices, or access the internal applications of Mantis.
Mantis can connect to up to 5 Bluetooth devices at once along with one USB connection. To switch from one device to the next, simply tap the center circle home button between the thumb keys, and select your desired device to toggle to.
A long press and hold of the power button on the left side of the Mantis will power it on. While powered on, performing a long press will force shut down the device. When powered on you will feel a long vibration, you can select the “Power Off” option from the main menu of the Mantis to shut it down completely. You will feel a double vibration when completely powered off.
While on, a single quick tap of the power button will put the Mantis to sleep and wake it up.
APH has partnered with HumanWare for the international distribution of the Mantis Q40. We expect Mantis to be available internationally near the end of May 2020. Please contact HumanWare for more information about Mantis in your country and language.
Yes, in any menu, simply press the first letter of the item to jump quickly to it.
The first time, on your Mantis:
- navigate to the Terminal application from the main menu.
- Select “Activate Bluetooth pairing”.
- Navigate to iOS and select it
Now on your iOS device:
- Open your settings app from your home screen
- Choose Bluetooth
- The Mantis should appear at the bottom of the screen, simply activate it
You will be notified that your device is paired by a chime sound on your device. Now from here on out,
- Simply select the “Bluetooth Connection,” option from within the Terminal menu on your Mantis
- You should see your iOS device listed in your paired device list, and activate it
You can now control your iOS device with your mantis and feel braille under your fingertips!
If you have multiple devices paired to your Mantis, while using one device, simply tap the home button in the middle of the thumb keys, select the Bluetooth connections item and choose your desired device to switch to.
Yes Pressing the home command of alt + ctrl + H, on the Mantis with your iOS device locked, will wake it up where you can enter your passcode. This allows you to keep your iOS device in its bag or pocket while you use the Mantis as its controller and output.