Revel Systems is offering a new accessibility bundle for its tablet-based point of sale system.

The hardware and software upgrades within the Revel Accessibility App support technology such as Bluetooth keyboards with textured keys for people with visual impairments.

A business owner came to Revel about six months ago asking the vendor to build a point of sale system that could be used by an employee with a visual impairment, says Chris Ciabarra, chief technology officer and co-founder of Revel. "Any key you push, the point of sale system will talk back to you; if you do something it'll say what you're doing and what's in your order," he says.

The client has been using the accessibility system for a few months, Ciabarra says. Other clients are in the pipeline to adopt the bundle, he says.

The update also improves security for visually impaired consumers, who can now enter PIN codes on Braille keys instead of disclosing this information to a cashier. Braille keyboards can cost $1,500, though Braille stickers are available for far less, says Ciabarra.

Revel's accessibility bundle comes not far after a class action accusing Apple of discriminating against the visually impaired. In Apple retail stores all sales associates are equipped with touchscreen iPads or iPods to bring up item and customer information and also take payments.

"It's a big deal because for regulatory concerns you have to be accessible to people with disabilities," Ciabarra says. "Most [retail point of sale systems] don't have this functionality┬ůso it's pretty much an open market for that."

Revel has a history of customizing its point of sale system for specific merchant needs. The vendor built a point of sale platform specifically for wineries, with functions for wine tastings, lecture content and marketing. In February, Revel added Bitcoin acceptance after about 30 clients requested the function. 

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