Four student entrepreneurs from Seoul, South Korea have come up with an amazing concept: a smartwatch called Dot for visually impaired.
“Just like an Apple Watch or Pebble, it’s a smartwatch,” says Dot co-founder and CEO Eric Ju Yoon Kim. “But it has a display with braille, so visually impaired people all over the world can communicate with the world in their hands.”
The smartwatch delivers texts in beautiful rippling bursts of braille. It offers notifications from your smartphone, imparts turn-by-turn directions, serves up entire e-books, and of course tells the time, all by touch alone.
While we already have a plethora of smartwatches on the market, the haptic smartwatch is first of its kind. Before the Dot smartwatch, the visually impaired folks had two notable timepiece options: tactile and talking, but Dot is far more advanced in terms of functionality.
How it works
The watch spells out words and numbers using 24 rounded magnetic metal pins embedded in the face of the slender, Fitbit Flex-reminiscent wristlet rhythmically move up and down. Users can read the text by swiping their fingers across the four rows of rounded pegs. The Dot smartwatch is voice enabled, so that the users can give voice commands or even dictate messages.
The smartwatch is expected to last up to five days between charges, and will probably retail for under $300 in the US. The manufacturers hope shipping will start by the end of the year, and are accepting preorders for 10,000 units on their website.