Discover our new exciting products - BrailleNote Apex - Smart

Welcome to the Summer edition of our HumanWare client newsletter, "TechStyle".

This is Issue 56 dated November 2009.

If you know anyone who doesn't receive this TechStyle newsletter & may not have advised us their email address - please send their address on to us. Or call us now in Sydney on (02) 9686 2600.

In this bumper edition we have some really exciting news:


SmartView Synergy Release    

Photo of   SmartView Synergy


Wow! Has this created some excitement!
SmartView Synergy is the HumanWare new release desktop video magnifier. It is the result of a joint project between the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) organization in England & HumanWare engineers.

Thousands of hours of customer experience has gone into the development of Synergy.

SmartView Synergy magnifies and enlarges text, objects & actions to help restore and maintain independence for people with macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy or other low vision eye conditions.

The simple to use controls, the ability to configure the system to their needs & Synergy's high quality image, lets people reclaim their everyday activities.

Helping Everyday

  • Enjoy reading a good book, the latest magazine, or today's paper
  • Stay healthy by ensuring medicine is taken correctly with instructions viewed at a size you can read
  • Keep the brain active by doing crosswords and Sudoku
  • Relax with that long-time hobby
  • Keep up with Grandchildren by viewing their latest photos
  • Consult cookbooks while preparing meals
  • Verify your bills as well as your bank and investment statements

Simple controls, always within reach
Synergy's easy to use, intuitive controls are conveniently located right under the display. With one press of a button you can quickly change from showing the image in full colour to viewing text in an enhanced contrast mode. Use the precise zoom control to adjust the magnification in defined steps to the level that best matches your needs.

Uncompromised Images
Synergy has been optimized to display a high quality image irrespective of the material being viewed. Whether reading a magazine page with one of the 16 enhanced contrast modes, looking at a colour picture, checking the ingredients on a can of soup or cutting your finger nails, Synergy provides a superior image. The 22" wide screen display provides extra brightness without distortion.

Smooth Reading
The reading table provides smooth quiet movement in all directions. The simple, easy to use brake lets you lock the table in place in any location. By moving the same control only part of the way you can add additional friction to the table movements to help in following text from one line to the next.

Distinguishing details
Synergy has been designed to complement your living or working environment. The colours have been chosen to blend into the surroundings. The small footprint ensures that Synergy takes only the minimum of space.

Configurable to your needs
Synergy is available with a 19" flatscreen LCD monitor, a 22" widescreen or for use with your own monitor or TV. The optional advanced control panel gives you the added features of a page locator light, lines and blinds and computer screen sharing. To best meet your viewing needs the LCDs can be easily adjusted up and down, swivelled left & right or tilted forward & back.

And guess what?
All this is offered to Australian clients for almost $600 less than the popular SmartView Xtend model that it supersedes.

Call Phil, Luke, Linda or Andrew for more details or to reserve your own Synergy.



BrailleNote Apex BT32BrailleNote APEX Released


Welcome to the unveiling of the biggest research project in HumanWare history

With the introduction of the BrailleNote in 2000, Humanware marked a milestone in Braille-and-speech devices.

The BrailleNote is recognised as the most efficient yet simple notetaker on the market. Its ergonomic characteristics are acclaimed - especially the ability to type and read rapidly and in perfect comfort. BrailleNote has continuously evolved over the years to fully address the emerging needs of blind students, professionals & consumers.

In this exciting new generation, we are perpetuating the acclaimed BN design. But introducing so much more.

Here's APEX - the slimmest and lightest notetaker in the industry.

Apex is:

  • Super slim
  • Modern and techy looking
  • Has updated connectivity
  • Reduced cost for the user
  • High performance under Windows CE 6.0
  • User replaceable batteries
  • Much more internal user memory (8 GB)
  • ...and KeySoft runs on it!

Apex has:

  • Built-in Ethernet Port (10/100Mbps 802.3)
  • Built-In WiFi (802.11 b/g)
  • Built-in Bluetooth 2.1 and improved Bluetooth manager
  • USB client for Active Sync and Terminal mode
  • 3 High Speed USB 2.0 host ports
  • Built-in driver for USB dial-up modem
  • 8GB permanent internal memory
  • Users can select their preferred removable memory
    • Standard SD and high capacity SDHC cards or USB based flash drives such as thumb drives & other memory
  • Stereo speakers and superior sound
  • Support headphones, external speaker and microphone
  • Recording capability improved
  • Large, easily located recording button
  • User replaceable battery - charge a spare battery and swap it when needed
  • Battery life is around 10 - 12 hours
  • An integrated real time clock keep time and date for up to 30 days without battery
  • Runs on Windows CE 6.0, the newest Windows operating system
  • Better memory management
  • More stability
  • Better support for large files, large media storage, multitasking & data transfer
  • Up to date processing capability thanks to the combination of a Freescale iMX31 processor and 254 SDRAM memory

Teachers & assistants can directly plug-in a VGA screen to view student's work. VGA screens are widely available today & several web sites offer small monitors of 7 or 8 inches at an affordable price.

Apex offers more and updated choices to use the USB client in Terminal Mode - the USB client is located on the side for better fit with the PC. Standard Bluetooth communication is initiated from the PC.

Did I tell you the price yet ????

More good news - the 32 cell BrailleNote Apex is just $8,890

Trade In offer

Trade in your old BrailleNote 18 & receive a $1,800 reduction on a new Apex, or

Trade in your old BrailleNote 32 & receive a $2,800 reduction on a new Apex.

Even more good news.

The Apex is only available in the 32 cell model - so we are offering huge discounts on the BrailleNote mPower 18 cell range.

Now pay just $4,890!!

Prices are also slashed on the BrailleNote PK, the VoiceNote mPower & the Deaf Blind Communicator.

Phone Ramona or Sam to get the best price deal in years!



Some other things I wanted to share with you:

A dentist and a manicurist fought tooth and nail.

A will is a dead giveaway.

In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count
that votes.

A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.

With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.

When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

 A calendar's days are numbered.



Victor Reader StreamVR STREAM


Q.  Why Choose the Stream?
Q.  What makes the Victor Reader Stream so popular and unique among portable DAISY MP3 players?
A.  Stream is the most powerful and stable DAISY player in the industry. It's based on 12 years of proven Victor Reader DAISY playback technology from HumanWare.

Unique interface design.

The Stream is not simply a media player that is DAISY aware.

Rather all content on the Stream is treated as a book whether it
is a DAISY book, commercial audio book, book, computer document, podcast, music collection, or the user's recorded voice notes. This gives a consistent way for the user to navigate and manage all content.
Navigation is easy through the simple 4 arrow paradigm integrated on its telephone style number pad.

Keys 2 and 8 are used as up/down arrows that choose the level of
navigation such as book, chapter, section, page, paragraph, sentence, word etc.

Keys 4 and 6 are used as left/right arrows to move at the chosen navigation level.

Key 5 is the "Where Am I" key. Just press it and Stream announces your current reading position.

In the Stream, all books are accessed through simple easy to navigate bookshelves. Just press key 1 to move through the list of bookshelves & keys 4 & 6 to navigate the titles on each bookshelf.


The Stream has the most powerful bookmarking features on the market.
Simple bookmarks for all types of books - highlight bookmarks to mark passages of text and audio bookmarks to make your own voice annotation just like writing in the margin of a print book. And when playing back the Stream, it is the only player that will alert you when it passes over previously marked passages and automatically speak
any notations you made.

Text Search.

The Stream offers the most robust search features for finding electronic text in books and documents. Just type the word or words to find like you would type a text message on a mobile phone. Or, find the next or previous occurrence of the word you are currently positioned at.
The Stream keypad is recognized as offering the best combination of key size, key shape, spacing, and colour contrast.
Stream users comment the Stream's variable speed playback is the best on the market allowing speed to be reduced or increased to 3 times normal with auto pitch correction.

Audio tone control.

This is very important when listening to recorded books, especially
for those who may have trouble hearing certain frequencies such as male versus female narrators.
The Stream is also the only player with a dedicated Sleep key to quickly activate an auto shut off timer with a single key press.

What if you don't require sophisticated navigation? The Stream is the only player with dedicated keys for Fast Forward and Rewind. This is useful for those who may be transitioning from cassette players to their first digital player or for those who have simple reading needs and do not need the advanced navigation features. The longer you hold down the keys the faster the Stream moves through the reading material.

The Stream connects to the computer, allowing you to simply copy and paste or drag and drop books and files from your computer directly to the bookshelf folders of its SD memory card.

However, Stream is the only player that also offers free Companion software to help users transfer content to the player if they are not familiar with Windows file management.





Further enhancing our high standard of customer service and support, HumanWare is proud to announce the expansion of our team in Queensland by introducing new distributors in Rockhampton and Townsville.

For any enquiries in these regions regarding sales, service or equipment trials please contact:

Rockhampton based & servicing the regional areas of Mackay, Gladstone, Bundaberg & Emerald .....

Mr Russell Cooper
Russell Cooper Optometrist
160 Bolsover Street
Rockhampton City, QLD  4700
Ph: 07 4922 6996

Russell has been an optometrist in Rockhampton for 30 years, with a special interest in Low Vision.

Serving on the Optometric Association of Australia (OAA Qld Div.) Council for over 10 years, Russell was also a member of The QLD Optometrist Board for seven years.

Achievements include a Graduate Certificate from Queensland University of Technology in Ocular Therapeutics, and applied to do a Masters in Optometry by research. 

Russell is also a Justice of the Peace (JP, qualified) and is looking forward to supporting and providing a high standard of service and sharing his low vision solutions with the Rockhampton, Bundaberg and regional communities.

Townsville based & servicing the regional areas of Ingham, Ayr, Bowen, Proserpine & Charters Towers is ......

Tony and Annette Hopper
41Ireland street
Oonoonba, QLD 4811
Phone (07)4729 0534
Mobile 0417 210 055

Annette and Tony coordinate the Guide Dogs Queensland, Low Vision Support Group of Townsville.  The support group is made up of 45 members, & meetings are held monthly at the Oonoonba Community Centre. 

Since Tony became vision impaired, he and his wife have been active volunteers of Guide Dogs Queensland, and have assisted with various activities throughout the year.  Tony also runs computer training courses for seniors and assists individuals with low vision in using computers and screen magnification programs (ZoomText).  Annette has been working in the aged care and disability sector in the community for over eight years.

This caring and professional couple is keen to assist the low vision community in the Townsville and regional areas with their understanding, and experience of living successfully with low vision.

HumanWare slashes prices

With the continued good performance of the Aussie dollar, we are thrilled to be able to pass on great savings on a wide range of HumanWare product solutions.

In fact virtually everything we purchase from overseas in US dollars - has been reduced.

Call us now on (02) 9686 2600 to get quotes on your needs.

You may be pleasantly surprised!



Kurzweil 1000Kurzweil K1000 Version 12 released


What's new in Kurzweil K1000?

There are many new features and enhancements in Version 12 including the following:

  • Updated OCR,
  • A new user wizard
  • Text translation between languages
  • Dictionary word and anagram pronunciation
  • Image/text split screen display options
  • Continuous reading and paging functions in image view
  • Broader storage device support
  • PDF bookmarks
  • Mid-recognition saving
  • MP3 encoder
  • Audio conversion from WAV/MP3 to Daisy 2.02
  • iTunes/Windows Media Player playlist support
  • Quick Bookmark access from File Open
  • Image conversion
  • Enhanced currency recognition
  • Phrase support in pronunciation correction/changing
  1. Will there be a USB version?                         yes
  2. Will K1000 V12 run under Windows 7?          yes
  3. Has the pricing for K1000 changed?              No (but with the stronger Aussie dollar it is certainly a cheaper package than previously)


Quotes of Note:

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." - Clarence Darrow. 

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." - William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." - Moses Hadas

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." -  Oscar Wilde

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend.... if you have one." - George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one." - Winston Churchill, in response.




Smartview 5000. As new condition, Asking price: $3000 Contact Rob Morey from Victoria on 0488 479 199. Rob is happy to ship nationally.

Smartview 5000. Complete with 17" colour monitor. 3 years old & in good condition & asking just $3000 ONO. Contact Hazel Kane on (07) 3861 4503 or 0400 549683

SmartView 5000. Approx 4 years old & in excellent condition. Ned Jamieson is in Melbourne & is asking just $2,200 ONO. Phone him on 0428 260421 or (03) 9486 0110

MyReader 600 in excellent condition. Asking price just $4500 ono. Contact Pamela Clancy, on (02) 9449 5084

MyReader 600 for sale. Hardly ever used. $4500 ono. Please contact James Duffecy on 0411 618 608




Ron, Phil, Luke, Andrew, Sam   Linda Walker
Anthony, Suhardi & Mimi   HumanWare Aust (Qld)
HumanWare Australia   59 Burn Street
Suite 2,   7-11 Railway St.    Camp Hill  QLD  4152
Baulkham Hills  NSW  2153   Phone:        (07) 3398 2230
Phone:       (02) 9686 2600   Mobile Phone:    0422 453 123
Fax:           (02) 9686 2855   Fax:            (07) 3011 1089
Email:    E:










Townsville & Rockhampton distributors as shown previously



Jim Pipczak   David Vosnacos
Vision Aust. Equipment Solutions   Assocn. for Blind of WA
201 High Street   61 Kitchener Ave.,
Prahran   VIC   3181   Victoria Park  W.A.  6100
Phone: (03) 9520 5555   Phone: (08) 6222 4999
Fax: (03) 9525 2065   Fax: (08) 6222 4910
Email:   Email:








Happy Christmas.

On behalf of all the staff at HumanWare, I would like to extend our best wishes for a happy & healthy Christmas.

We all look forward to working with you again in 2010.


Picture of Ron HathawayThanks for joining us for this issue of HumanWare Australia's newsletter TechStyle.

We look forward to your company again for the Autumn edition.

Ron Hathaway