A Tech Must See: The First-Ever Smart Watch That Sends Braille Notifications To Its UsersBy Chris Brandt, UniversityHerald Reporter
With all the gadgets and smart devices available in the market, there are only few that caters to those who are visually impaired. While everyone has the luxury to cram their books and documents in laptops or tablets, the visually impaired, on the other hand, have to carry all those heavy books. Even the simple luxury of knowing and telling time is not accessible to them. But that is about to change with the introduction of a smartwatch that can send and receive Braille notifications.
The Dot Watch is the first-ever of smartwatch for the visually impaired because it uses Braille display rather than graphics and texts. At first, the watch looks similar to Fitbit - screenless. At closer inspection, however, you will see that it has a bulge which contains active dots grouped into four cells. These dots move and display whatever the message the wearer receives and he can 'read' it. It can also connect to any Bluetooth device using voice commands.
The watch is based on haptic technology which gives information in real time using touch. According to Dot, the watch can be programmed to display new characters at various speeds from 1 to 100 hertz. Furthermore, the battery can last up to 10 hours when fully charged.
According to Eric Kim, co-founder and CEO of Dot Watch, they are still testing other applications for their Braille module primarily in South Korea where the company is based. One of them is installed on ATM machines and train stations which enable the visually impaired to read their account information or train schedule in real time.
They are also looking forward to developing a tablet device that will display complex, multi-line information, shapes, diagrams, and graphs. Kim has a lot of ideas how their four-cell module can be used because he wants the visually impaired to enjoy the same advances as the rest of us do.