Dot, a Smartwatch for the Blind

The smartwatches (still) did not turn into a fever as the manufacturers expected. For many people, these devices are superfluous. But a startup in South Korea called Dotbelieves that there is a group of users who can benefit greatly from the intelligent clocks: the visually impaired.
The small company has developed a smartwatch also called Dot which, instead of having a tiny screen, has a 24-pin panel that “displays” up to four characters at a time, but in Braille. You may have already imagined the dynamics of invention: the pins go up and down to form new words as soon as the person checks the information.
You can use Dot to read documents on the desktop or emails received on your smartphone, as smartercomputing says. The connection to the devices can be made via Bluetooth interface or USB port. This aspect makes clear the main purpose of smartwatch: to serve as an extension to equipment that the user already owns.
It may not seem like a relevant detail, but the tools we currently have to aid the visually impaired focus almost exclusively on sound signals and voice reading. This is not always convenient: if you lose your headphones, you may be uncomfortable to use the spoken functions of your smartphone in public.
With Dot, even reading ebooks gets more practical. In fact, the realization that no more than 1% of the books are translated into Braille was a crucial point for the startup team to shape the project. The refresh rate of the pin panel is configurable, so the user can adjust it as he gets used to the device.
It is possible to imagine that the up and down of the pins will significantly affect thebattery life , but Dot staff estimates that the device will withstand 10 hours of constant use after a full charge. On average, users will have to recharge the watch every five days.
There are other features besides reading, of course. The Dot has alarm function, GPS and notifications feature (the watch is also equipped with a vibration component), for example. Yes, you can also check the time in it.
Perhaps the best part of the project is that Dotz was created to be affordable. While a Braille outfit may outnumber the $ 2,000 home, the Dot should not cost more than $ 300. If all goes well (read: if Dot gets an investment round about $ 1 Million in this month),device sales start at the end of the year.
For the long term, Dot wants to take the idea to other devices that are part of people’s daily lives, such as microwave ovens, ATMs and airport information panels.