Loaded with features like heart rate monitor, step count and sleep tracker, smartwatches are becoming a part of our daily life, but still most of them are basically useless for the visually impaired. Usually, visually impaired people, who can afford a smartphone, rely on voice technology, but that’s for those who aren’t braille educated. What if, instead of voice notifications, a smartphone could send notifications to a watch, which a visually impaired person could read in braille?
That is where The Dot comes in. The South Korean startup’s first product is the Dot Smartwatch, which it claims is the world’s first braille smartwatch. Dot is a sleek motorized smartwatch that uses braille to give the wearer not only the time, but a lot of other information.
There are approximately 285 million visually impaired people worldwide. The Dot Smartwatch lets the visually impaired receive real time information from their phone, such as notifications, text messages, Facebook messages and more, in braille.
The Dot works in a pretty simple manner. Underneath the dial are four motorized modules, each with 6 possible dots. Each dot can be raised or lowered individually, so the Dot can display up to four braille characters at a time. The user then just reads the dial as they would a piece of paper with braille on it. The dial is concave to offer a protective rim around the braille modules themselves, making it easier to wear the watch day in and day out.
Dot is an active braille device. It is connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth, and can receive any text information from any app or service. For input, there’s a crown and two buttons. It comes with full watch functionality. It’s made from super-light aluminum and the battery lasts for 7 days.
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