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Mantis™ Q40 & Chameleon™ 20 Release Notes

Version 2.1.0

Chameleon Only

More TTS voices

  • Upon updating, a prompt to download language and voices to reflect your system language will be sent.
  • TTS voices are available through speech settings.
  • A maximum of 2 voices can be installed.
  • Menu voice availability dictated by system language.
  • Additional voices will have all available voices to choose from.

Mantis Only

Sticky keys

  • One handed mode operation
  • Enable/disable sticky keys by pressing the Shift key five times
    • Also available through User settings
    • Pressing Ctrl, ALT, FN Shift or the win key twice will lock the key.
    • On the third press, it will be disabled and give you a double beep.

Both Displays

Online services

  • NLS Bard added to Chameleon and Mantis Q40

Other fixes and improvements

  • Fixed issue with IOS opening menu
  • Filter for some iOS files

Version 2.0.0

Chameleon Only

Text to Speech (TTS)

  • After updating TTS will automatically be enabled
  • Added three (3) TTS voices only
    • English American voice = Will and Sharona
    • Spanish voice = Rosa
  • Added Speech setting to the sub menu of Settings:
    • Speech on
    • Speak menu
    • Speak word under cursor
    • Speak display content after panning
    • Echo delete
    • Keyboard Echo
    • Voice selection
  • Turn speech on/off = Space + Previous Thumb key
  • Start read all with TTS = Space + G (Only available in the Editor and Library)
  • Stop Reading = Enter + Backspace (Only available in the Editor and Library)
  • Increase TTS speed = Enter + Dot 5
  • Decrease TTS speed = Enter + Dot 2
  • Added an option in the language profile to select a different TTS for content
  • Please note that TTS is not available when using the Braille Editor application

Audio Support

  • Unprotected Daisy audio playback now possible (Daisy 2.02 and Daisy 2.0). A great source for these files is Bookshare.
    • Press space + G to start audio
    • Stop audio playback = Enter(Dot 8) + BackSpace(Dot 7)
    • Use Physical volume keys to increase and decrease the volume
  • Increase the speed of Audio = Enter + dot 5
  • Decrease the Speed of Audio = Enter + dot 2
  • Fast forward 5 seconds = Right thumb key (single press)
  • Rewind 5 seconds = Left thumb Key (single press)
  • Fast forward (Longer time jumps) = Right thumb key(press and hold)
  • Rewind (Longer time jumps) = Left thumb key (press and hold)
  • Top of file/book = Space + dots 1-2-3
  • Bottom of file/book = Space + dots 4-5-6
  • Previous Element = Space + dots 1-3
  • Next Element = Space + dots 4-6
  • Previous Sequential level = Backspace + dot 3
  • Next Sequential level = Backspace + dot 6
  • A new shortcut to delete book from the book list
    • Delete book = Backspace(Dot 7) + dot 2-3-5-6

Both Displays


  • Added a new item within the editor sub menu called Recently saved.
    • The recently saved item will store the last 10 most recent saved documents
  • Added Toggle Text indicators
    • Hide and show the text indicators. Available through the editor settings
    • Note all other edit fields will continue to show the text indicators


  • Activate Bluetooth for pairing = Hold Enter Key for 5 seconds
  • Switch between connected devices while connected
    • Press Home + Next Thumb key to move forward through the list of connected devices.
    • Press Home + Previous Thumb key to move backward through the list of connected devices
  • General improvements in connectivity

User Settings

  • Added settings – Disable Braille Perkins Keyboard when in terminal
    • When set to on, while in Terminal mode, the Perkins keyboard will be disabled. All other keys including Thumb keys and command keys will continue to work
  • Added setting – Ask to open USB connection
    • When set to on, when inserting the USB cable, user will be prompted to start terminal mode
    • When selecting Ok, the device will connect to the USB connection automatically
  • Added Key repeat setting (Mantis Q40 only)
    • When set to on, certain keys can be held down to repeat after a slight delay
    • Applicable keys are backspace, delete, space, and the arrow keys

Added a new onboard application—Braille Editor

  • A new braille editor allowing users to create, edit and open BRF and BRL files.
    • No translations occur
    • Export option available
    • Create quick braille note from anywhere
      • Chameleon = BackSpace + B
      • Mantis Q40 = Ctrl + FN + B
    • All saved files will be .brf format
    • Export braille as text is available from the context menu
      • Chameleon = Space + M > Edit menu > Export as text
      • Mantis Q40 = Ctrl + M > Edit menu > Export as text
    • Mantis Q40 will restrict Qwerty input and instead will automatically switch to braille entry only using A,S,D,F and J,K,L,;


  • Added Polish—Mantis Q40

Fixes and Enhancements

  • Fixed freezing issues that were occurring in the editor
  • Menu item name “Braille Profile” now changed to “Language Profile”
  • Volume keys now active and control Volume for TTS and Audio playback
  • Mono Speaker and stereo speakers now active for Audio playback and (TTS for Chameleon)
  • Beeps replaced by sounds and messages on Braille devices. (Chameleon)
  • Mantis double beep to indicate a Wi-Fi connection has been replaced with a toast message “wifi connected”

Version 1.2.0

Mantis Only

Terminal Clipboard

  • Copy contents from internal applications and paste them when connected to your host device.
  • A new bypass shortcut has been introduced when connected to a host device. There are several tasks you can achieve once activated.
    • Bypass shortcut = FN + F3
  • Once activated the following shortcuts can be used.
    • Paste copied content from clipboard = Ctrl + V
    • Battery status = Ctrl + FN + P
    • Time = Ctrl + FN + T
    • Date = Ctrl + FN + D

Switch between two keyboard layouts

  • To add a keyboard layout:
    • Go to the Main menu.
    • Select Settings.
    • Select Change Region.
    • Select Secondary keyboard layout.
    • Select the layout of your choice from the list (ex: AZERTY, QWERTY, etc.)

Once you have selected a second keyboard layout, you can toggle from one layout to another by using the shortcut Ctrl + Space.

Start in Terminal

This feature can be turned on by going to Settings and then User Settings and finding “Start in Terminal”. By default it will be off. Once turned on it will cause the device to start up in the Terminal menu. It can be useful it you’re more likely to want to connect to another device rather than using the local functionality. Local functionality is still available too- just press the home button to jump back to the main menu and have access to the Editor, Library, and other local apps.


  • Added localization for Russian, Finnish, Danish and Korean.

Chameleon Only

One handed mode

  • A one-handed mode for braille input.
  • To turn on one-handed mode: from the main menu, use your thumb keys to move to options/setting. Select user settings where a new item has been created called “one-handed mode”. Press Enter to toggle between on and off.
  • While one-handed mode is active, the space bar will be the activator key. To send a series of key presses, simply press the keys you need and then press space bar to send them all at once. For example, to send the key combination space plus f, you’d press space, dot 1, dot 2, dot 4 and then space bar again to send the combination. To send just a space, press space bar twice.


  • Added localization for Spanish.
  • This will change startup so you’ll have to select your language when you start up the device for the first time. After that it can be changed in settings.

Both Displays

Global clipboard

  • Copy contents from the Library and paste them into the Editor.
  • Please note a size limitation applies when copying from the Library because of a need to protect intellectual property.

Bookmarks in the Editor

  • Create and manage up to 98 bookmarks in a document.
    • Mantis hotkey
      • Alt + M to open the Bookmarks menu
    • Chameleon hotkey:
      • Enter + M to open the Bookmarks menu
  • Quickly jump to a created bookmark
    • Mantis hotkey:
      • Ctrl + J and type in Bookmark number
    • Chameleon hotkey:
      • Enter + J and type in Bookmark number

Expose the amount of memory

  • Check the amount of internal storage you have on your device
  • Within File manager
    • Chameleon shortcut:
      • Space + D to get to the drive selection screen and then Space + I.
    • Mantis shortcut:
      • Ctrl + D to get to the drive selection screen and then Ctrl + I.

Cursor Blink

  • Set whether the cursor blinks.
  • Available to change by going to Settings and then User Settings and finding the item “cursor blink”.

Backup Utility

  • Backup your data and restore it using the import and export data utility within the diagnostic menu.
  • To access the backup and restore utility, load the device in recovery mode.
    • Mantis Recovery Mode is accessed by pressing and holding the Home button while pressing the power button while the unit is off.
    • Chameleon Recovery Mode is accessed by pressing and holding volume up button while pressing the power button while the unit is off.
    • Recovery Mode initiates the next time the unit is started and makes a new menu available called the Diagnostics Menu. The unit will leave Recovery Mode the next time it is power cycled.

Fixes and enhancements

  • Auto scroll speed is now saved between sessions
  • Changed encoding for txt files with no BOM inside the Library.
  • Added an option to subscribe to all publications inside NFB newsline
  • Added support to FB2 files in the Library application.
  • Bluetooth and USB improvements
  • Improved the configuration of Braille Profiles – Added new items including “Configure braille profiles” and “delete profiles” from the menu list.
  • Added a new Navigation shortcut within the Library
    • Chameleon: Press Backspace plus Dot 6 to access the next Navigation level OR Press Backspace plus Dot 3 to access the previous Navigation level.
    • Mantis: Press Ctrl + Fn + Up arrow to access the next Navigation level OR Press Ctrl + Fn + Down arrow to access the previous Navigation level.

Version 1.1.1

PDF support

  • Text PDF files are now supported
  • Maximum file size in the Editor is 2MB
  • Maximum file size in Library 200MB
  • No formatting is kept

Quick note

  • A new global shortcut has been introduced to allow for a quick note creation.
    • On Chameleon, pressing Backspace + N anywhere will create a new note
    • On Mantis Q40 the shortcut is CTRL + FN + N.

Exam Mode

  • Now available on Mantis Q40 and Chameleon
  • Extended the time allowance from 4hrs to 6hrs.

Toggle between multiple braille tables

  • It is now possible to toggle between two braille tables when setting either the contracted braille table or computer braille table to “none”
  • Pressing Backspace + G or CTRL + FN + G will toggle between the available braille tables.
  • When None is selected, this table will be excluded from the available braille table toggle

New folders created automatically

  • Books and documents folder created by default.
  • A release note folder has been created and will capture all future release notes after installing an update. (Excludes this current version)

Government mode (Available upon request –Mantis Q40 only)

  • Disables the use of all the internal applications, Bluetooth and Wifi
  • Connects only as a braille display via USB

Fixes and enhancements

  • Software update item has been removed from the about Menu and placed on the first level of the settings/options menu.
  • Added support to Spanish Braille files, BAN and BRA
  • Export and import configuration – Useful for anyone that has a temporary device during a repair. Available through the diagnostic menu. It will allow you to export and import Wi-Fi settings, current positions and bookmarks. Bluetooth pairing / connection information cannot be exported.
  • Added localization for the Mantis Q40: Czech, Brazilian Portuguese, Slovenian, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish and Dutch (Dutch keyboard layout not included).

Version 1.1


  • Added language support for French (France), French (Canadian), and German. This includes braille codes, system languages, and keyboard layouts. On startup of a new device or after a factory reset, users will need to choose which profile they want—either English, French (FR or CA), or German; the one they select will apply the code, translation, and keyboard changes. After that, changes can be made for each item separately, and custom profiles can be created.
    • Note that rebooting is required when modifying the system language or keyboard layout.
    • Changes to the new English International, French, and German keyboard layouts resulted in our having to replace the Alt key in all hotkeys with the Fn (function) key. When using the default English keyboard layout, both the Alt and Fn keys will work with those hotkeys.
  • Update Process Changes
    • Installation of updates is allowed only when the battery level is above 50% and the unit is connected to a charger.
    • When downloading updates, a progress indicator is displayed.
  • Bluetooth Improvements
    • Bluetooth manager stability is improved.
    • All connected devices are now presented in a single list, and first-letter navigation can be used to select a device.
    • Successful connection messages are now automatically dismissed.
    • When reconnecting a device, a disconnected notification is no longer displayed during the reconnection process.
  • In the Editor’s File menu, it is now possible to select a different encoding if some characters do not appear properly using your current encoding.
  • Low-battery messages are automatically dismissed.
  • The User Guide has been updated on the device to reflect these changes.


  • Greatly improved stability of transferring files to and from external media.
  • Applications will now automatically restart in the event of a crash. Users will no longer have to reboot their device in the event of an app crash.
  • An Eject Media option is now present in the File Manager context menu.

Version 1.0.1

This release includes the following improvements:

  • Mantis: Better keyboard response on all platforms.
  • Fixes a problem of characters being dropped or getting out of order on iOS and MacOS. (Requires iOS 13.5.1 and MacOS 10.15.5 or later).
  • Provides a more reliable connection to iOS via Bluetooth.
  • Mantis: Fixes a problem that occasionally caused the keyboard to lock or start repeating characters.
  • Improved compatibility with JAWS. (requires an updated JAWS driver).
  • The control + option + Space command now works for activating items in iOS. (Requires iOS or iPAD OS 13.5.1 or later).
  • Using contracted braille on MacOS now works. (Requires MacOS 10.15.5 or later).
  • Chameleon: Certain fields in the internal applications, which previously only accepted computer braille, now accept multiple braille codes.

Installing a Firmware Update

To install the new firmware on your Mantis or Chameleon, you can do so either over the air via a WIFI connection, or manually with a computer and thumb drive.

Downloading Over The Air:

The simplest way to update your Mantis or Chameleon is by connecting it to a personal WIFI connection.  To do this, turn on your mantis so that it is at the device’s home menu:

  1. Press space until you find “Settings” or just press S followed by enter.
  2. In the Settings menu press space repeatedly to find “WIFI” or type a W followed by enter.
  3. If you see that WIFI is set to “Off”, press enter to turn it on.
  4. Now with WIFI turned on, press space repeatedly to find the “New Connection” option and press enter.
  5. The first item you see is “Scan for SSID”, press enter here to scan for your network.
  6. You will see a “Loading” prompt followed by a list of networks. Press space repeatedly to your network’s name and press enter.
  7. When prompted for the network password, type it in and press enter.
  8. You will see a “Loading” prompt followed by a “Connection Successful” message, confirming you are now connected to your network.
  9. Shortly after connecting to your network you will receive a notification that a new update is available asking if you want to download and install. Press space to the Ok button and enter to start the process.
  10. Downloading will take a short amount of time and your device will restart. Note that your battery must be above 50% to install the update, or connected to power.
  11. Upon restarting, you will see the braille display represent a progress bar to show you the installation progress.
  12. Upon completion your device will power off. Power it back on and you will be running the latest Mantis or Chameleon firmware.


If you prefer to install the firmware manually or are not able to use the over the air method via Wi-Fi, you can find the most recent braille reader firmware updates in the Manuals & Downloads section on the Mantis Q40 and Chameleon 20 product pages.