In this world of smart gadgets, you can receive a message on your mobile phone, laptop, tablet or even your watch. Instead of greeting on a call or searching for a new one, all this suits you. But what about consumers who have visual impairments? A South Korean company called Dot has reinvented tactile communication with the world’s first intelligent Braille watch.
Like other portable devices, their new smart watch includes typical features such as displayed time (up to seconds), obtaining directions, and displaying social media notifications and text messages. But here’s the really cool part: it uses a refreshing Braille screen, hence the name Dot Watch.
To indicate the time, you simply feel the points on the screen. If there is a point followed by two points, it is 12 o’clock. Peasy easy. How to read messages? According to Big Think, the display consists of “24 touch sensors and uses electro-dynamic cells to relay information”. A pin grille with the help of magnets generate four Braille characters at a time. When your Dot Watch estimates that you have finished reading a text (that is, when your finger reaches the end of a Braille line), the screen instantly informs you. As TIME notes, the watch can use applications on any device via Bluetooth.
Dot Inc. has received 140,000 pre-orders from 13 different countries, and Big Think estimates that the English and Korean versions (approximately $ 200) will start shipping before April 2017. In addition to their Dot Watch, Literacy in developing countries by introducing a low cost version of the device called Dot Mini. The company is hoping this smart watch a lifeline for the 285 million visually impaired people who want access to information at hand, just like everyone else.