Due to circumstances involving my son, I’ve been thrust into a world where I have needed to investigate the use of braille. Sadly, the cost of Braille devices based on a lack of demand, can be quite prohibitive. After a search, I was pleased to find a new product, called the dot Braille Smart Watch, which is both reasonably priced and looks like a winner in terms of functionality.
On their website the South Korean based team who are currently developing the dot watch note that they see the issues facing the visually impaired buyers, least of which is affordability, which makes their target price of around the US$300 mark a boon for vision impaired users used to paying in the thousands for devices supporting braille.
Functionally, the dot Braille smartwatch will give users the ability to perform common place tasks like reading texts, tweets and books on the go, or using navigation or receiving notifications employing the active Braille technology built into the face of which raises and drops a series of pins spelling out characters in Braille that users can read by placing their finger on top. As well as these ‘smart’ functions, the dot will also operate as a watch, with the usual functions like clock and alarms.
The dot team has a loftier goal, aiming to help the 95% of the 285 million vision impaired people in the world to read. The option of a sub-$2000 e-reader will give users options to get in on a much more affordable level.
To satisfy personal curiosity, I have reached out to the team and confirmed that there will be both an Android and iOS app to allow the dot Smart Watch to link to mobile devices but I’m yet to get a confirmation on exactly when pre-orders will open up, though it seems likely it may open up this year. When further detail emerges for this device, we’ll be on top of it.
Do you, or someone you know have a visual impairment and would benefit from the dot Smartwatch?