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Chameleon 20

Featuring Text-to-Speech, the Chameleon 20 is the perfect device for learning and reinforcing braille literacy skills. As a portable braille display with local apps, like an editor and library, this device is perfect for improving productivity whether you are in the classroom or the workplace. From the three-different colored cases to the options on the software, make the Chameleon 20 your own!

Shipping Limitations: This product only ships to the United States. Orders outside these regions will not be processed.

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Federal Quota Eligible

398 in stock

Catalog Number: 1-08471-00

Product Description

The Chameleon’s 20-cell refreshable braille display and Perkins-style keyboard provide a comfortable reading and writing experience. Superior internal intelligence and multiple modes of connectivity allow students to use the Chameleon as a stand-alone notetaker, or as a braille display to edit assignments on the computer.

Contains the following features:

  • Text-to-Speech support with many different options including Read All, Read Text After Pan, Read Text Under Cursor, Typing Echo, Delete Echo, and more.
  • Basic editor to function as a user’s pen and paper.
  • Braille editor for creating and editing BRF files. Can also edit BRL files.
  • Book reader to download and read books in braille.
  • Calculator to perform basic mathematical calculations.
  • Clock to check the date and time.

Compatible with:

  • Windows 8 and above using Jaws 18+, NVDA, and Narrator
  • MacOS 10.5+ Catalina
  • iOS 13.5.1+

Chameleon 20 Release Notes

Note: For international orders, please contact our partner, HumanWare.

Please join our Chameleon 20 and Mantis Q40 community of users by visiting our mailing list on FreeLists and following the sign-up instructions.

Learn more about this product with the Getting Started with the Chameleon 20 and Advancing with the Chameleon 20 courses on the APH Hive!

Chameleon 2.2 Terminal Mode Update

This update adds the feature of a simplified terminal mode to the Chameleon. This simplified terminal mode, or terminal only mode, can be turned on and off. When in this mode, the device operates as a terminal display with simplified options. In terminal only mode, the device only allows one USB and one Bluetooth connection, with the USB connection taking priority. The simplified options give users more flexibility to tailor their device to best fit their needs.

To turn on terminal only mode use the following steps:

  1. With the power supply disconnected, press and hold the volume up key while powering on.
  2. The device will prompt with the starting message but will soon shut down.
  3. Power on the device as normal, and you will be placed in the diagnostic menu.
  4. Navigate in the menu to an item called “Terminal mode only off/on”.
  5. Press Enter to toggle the status.
  6. Once done, select the close item, and the deice will shut down.
  7.  Turn device on and the display will be in terminal mode only.

Note: If you have no connection, the message “braille display” will be on the display. To turn off terminal only mode, repeat the steps above.

    • Perkins-style keyboard and 20-cell refreshable braille display
    • Customizable with three kinds of TPU bumper cases: teal, purple, and pomegranate
    • Functions as another device’s braille display when connected via USB or Bluetooth; functions as a stand-alone device when not connected
    • HumanWare signature thumb keys and home button
    • SD card slot and USB host port for flash
    • Supports .doc, .docx, .txt, .brf, and .brl files.
    • Small and lightweight
    • Fits in a purse, laptop bag, or backpack
    • Teal, purple, and pomegranate TPU bumper cases
    • Teal nylon carrying case with strap
    • An array of tactile and braille insect-themed stickers
    • USB-C charging cable with power supply (works with any USB charger, but may charge slower)
    • User Guide (stored on device)
  • I’ve changed my system voice to Will but my content is still being read by Sharona? How do I change my content voice?

    Your content voice is set under Language Settings. Go to Settings > Language Settings and then Configure Profile. Once there, select the profile you wish to configure, the default is English, and then find your Content Voice setting near the bottom of that menu. Change that to the voice of your choice and then save the configuration.

    With Text to Speech, I can only choose between Sharona, Will, and Rosa. When will I be able to select a different voice?

    The ability to change voices from these three options will come in a future update.

    What operating systems and screen readers are supported by the Chameleon?

    Chameleon 20 is compatible with:

    • Windows 8 and above using Jaws 18+, NVDA and Narrator
    • MAC OS 10.15+ Catalina
    • iOS 13.4+
    • Android and Chrome OS Pending updates from Google

    What file types are supported by the Chameleon 20?

    The Chameleon 20 supports several file formats.

    The editor application supports:

    • DOC
    • DOCX
    • TXT
    • BRF
    • BRL

    The Library application supports:

    • BRF
    • PEF
    • TXT
    • HTML
    • DOCX
    • NISO
    • RTF

    Is there a maximum file size that can be opened on the Chameleon 20?

    Yes, the maximum file handling size is 100MB. If a file exceeds this size you will receive a “file too large to open” notification.

    What are the file size limits for the editor?

    The file size limits for the editor will vary depending on file type. These are the limits for each file type:

    • Microsoft Word 97-2003 documents .doc (2000 KB)
    • Microsoft Word 2007 documents .docx (2000 KB)
    • .txt (2000 KB)

    Since BRF and BRL files are translated when opened in the Editor, the file size is based on number of characters and is much smaller than print files.

    • .brf (221000 Characters)
    • .brl (221000 Characters)

    Is there a way to open BRF files without the file being translated by the onboard braille translator?

    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).

    You can edit a braille file without it being backtranslated by using the Braille Editor app.

    How long will the battery last?

    Chameleon’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.

    I lost my charger. Is there a particular charger I should buy to replace it?

    Only a USB-A charger with the following specifications should be used to charge your display: an input of 100-240VAC and 50/60HZ 0.5A and an output of 5V-2.4 Amp. Using a charger with different specifications can damage your display and void your warranty.

    Do I need to eject thumb drives and SD cards before removing them?

    Yes, it is recommended that you eject external drives before physically removing them. The hotkey for eject is enter + e (dot 8 + dots 15). You will then be shown a list with all currently connected external drives. Press enter on the one you want to eject and then you will get a confirmation message and may physically remove the device.

    Can the Chameleon download books?

    Books can either be read from one of the available storage media, (USB thumb drive, SD card, or internal storage), or by connecting your Chameleon 20 to an available wireless network. Once connected to WI-FI, you can download books from Bookshare or NFB Newsline.

    Are DAISY books supported in the book reader?

    Yes, Bookshare books can be downloaded and navigated using the DAISY elements.

    Am I able to type and read in other languages, and ensure the braille and print is correct?

    Yes, thanks to Chameleon’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 Chameleon settings, and the braille and translation will be changed to your preferred Spanish braille table.

    What braille codes does the Chameleon 20 offer beyond UEB?

    The Chameleon 20 currently supports English and Spanish languages.

    As far as braille codes, the Chameleon has LibLouis and Duxbury tables for UEB contracted and uncontracted. It also has support for the old EBAE code, British braille codes, Spanish braille code support, South African tables (pre-UEB), Esperanto, and Ethiopian pre-UEB.

    The Chameleon 20 has every English braille code that a user could want as well as Esperanto. The Spanish code was recently added and Spanish language is coming soon.

    If I have multiple language profiles available, is it possible to quickly toggle between them?

    Yes, If you have previously created multiple language profiles you can simply press Enter with dots 1, 2, 3 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.

    Are the keyboard keys replaceable?

    No, If keys have become dislodged or completely removed please contact APH technical support for assistance.

    What do the four thumb keys do?

    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.

    How can I check my firmware and update if needed?

    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 Chameleon in two ways.  The simplest is by connecting it to WI-FI.  When connected, the Chameleon 20 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 Chameleon, 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 Chameleon 20 during the update process.

    Please note, the Chameleon will need a minimum of 50% battery to perform the upgrade and you must plug in the power chord.

    What size SD card can I use with my Chameleon 20?

    The recommended maximum size of SD card is 64 GB.

    What is the circle button in the center of the thumb keys?

    This button acts as the device’s home button.  When accessing local content on the Chameleon, 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 Chameleon.

    How many devices can I connect to the Chameleon 20 at once?

    Chameleon 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 in the Bluetooth pairing option.

    I live outside the United States, can I still purchase the Chameleon 20?

    APH hopes to partner with international distribution to sell the Chameleon 20 outside of the United States.  More information will become available when these partnerships are established.

    How do I switch between multiple devices?

    If you have multiple devices paired to your Chameleon, while using one device, press the Home button + Next thumb key or Home button + Previous Thumb key to switch between connected devices.

    Can I wake up my iOS device from my Chameleon?

    Pressing any cursor router key on the Chameleon 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 Chameleon as its controller and output.

    How do I remove a Bluetooth Pairing?

    1. From the main menu, press the letter S for settings followed by pressing Enter
    2. Press the Letter B for Bluetooth followed by pressing Enter
    3. Press the letter D for Delete pairing followed by pressing Enter
    4. Navigate to the pairing you wish to delete followed by pressing Enter
    5. Your paired device will now be deleted and will not show in your list of Bluetooth connections.

    I struggle to remember all of the shortcuts, is there a context menu that can help me?

    Yes, the Chameleon 20 has access to a context menu. The context menu can be accessed at any time by pressing Space with M and can help you with the available shortcuts that can be used at your given time. This can be very helpful if you are new to the Chameleon or self-learning to become more efficient.

    Will the Calculator allow me to type in Nemeth or UEB?

    On the first version, Chameleon will only support basic Mathematics with computer braille entry only. We hope to enable both Nemeth and UEB input in a future update.

    I notice there are volume keys and an audio jack on the right side. How do I enable audio?

    Audio was enabled with the 2.0 update. Speech can be toggled using the hotkey space + previous thumb key. Speech settings can be found under Settings > Speech Settings.

    When trying to perform shortcuts they fail to work?

    If you are trying to perform shortcuts and they fail to work, it is likely that you have accidentally switched to computer braille. In this case, please press backspace + G to revert back to either contracted or uncontracted braille.

    Can I use a QWERTY keyboard with the Chameleon 20?

    Yes, starting with the 2.0 update, the Chameleon 20 supports external QWERTY keyboard. Simply plug your keyboard into the Chameleon 20’s USB-A port on the left edge of the device and it should be recognized automatically and be available for use.

    Does the Chameleon 20 support one handed mode?

    Yes, the Chameleon 20 supports one-handed mode. Go to Settings > User Settings > One Handed Mode to enable.

    Is there anyway of connecting a screen or monitor to the Chameleon 20?

    No, this is not currently possible.

    As a TVI I need to review some of the documents that have been created on the Chameleon 20 storage, what would be the easiest option with limited braille experience?

    For simplicity, the best way to review documents stored on the Chameleon is to connect it to a PC or laptop. To connect the Chameleon 20 to a PC, insert the provided USB C cable into the Chameleon and the USB A to the PC/laptop.  On connecting the Chameleon to the PC/LAPTOP it will automatically create a media storage under “My computer”.

    If however you are using a MAC you require a third party application which can be found on APH’s support website.

    I am trying to connect my Chameleon or Mantis to my iPhone, how do I do this?

    The Mantis and Chameleon can be paired with iOS and iPad devices running 13.5.1 or later but you’ll want your Apple device to be as up to date as possible for the best experience.

    When pairing, ensure that you use the Bluetooth menu and not the VoiceOver menu since this device uses the new Braille HID standard.

    If I create a new document in the editor, what file format is it using?

    When creating a new file in the editor it is creating a .TXT file.  This also is the case if you edit a file that was a .DOC, or .DOCX file.  When saved on your device, it will be saved as a .TXT file.

    Can I use the Chameleon as an external drive with a Mac?

    Yes, to use the Chameleon as an external drive with a Mac, download the “Files for Mac External Drive” zipped folder. Follow the instructions inside that folder to start using your Chameleon as an external drive with your Mac.

  • Manuals


    • JAWS Drivers for Mantis and Chameleon (ZIP)
      Size: 2.18 MB, Uploaded:

      Catalog Number: 1-08470-00

      Braille Terminal Tools application to install the Mantis and Chameleon drivers on versions of JAWS earlier than 2020.

    • Files for Mac External Drive (ZIP)
      Size: 1.31 MB, Uploaded:

      Files and instructions required for connecting the Mantis/Chameleon as an external drive with a Mac.

    • Mantis and Chameleon Braille Reader Software Update 2.2 (ZIP)
      Size: 213.91 MB, Uploaded:

      Braille Reader Software Update 2.2 for Mantis Q40 and Chameleon 20.

    • Chameleon Legacy Update File (ZIP)
      Size: 244.51 MB, Uploaded:

      Catalog Number: 1-08471-00

      Available for those early units that haven’t been updated. If your version number begins with 1, save this file to a USB drive and transfer to your Chameleon to manually update your device. To begin the process, power on your Chameleon with the USB inserted.

  • Weight: 0.9 lbs

    Dimensions: 3.66 × 7.16 × 0.9 in

    Federal Quota Funds: Available

    Product Type: Assistive

  • Contact Customer Service to discuss your warranty options.