Saturday 18 January 2020
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Dot- A Smartwatch For the Visually Impaired

Dot- A Smartwatch For the Visually Impaired

Even with a 20/20 vision, you might find it difficult to read the tiny screen on a smartwatch. Imagine how a person with visual impairment would use such smartwatches. For them purchasing an LG Watch Urbane or Apple Watch is completely out of the question. So, how can such people use smartwatches? A South Korean startup has come up with a wonderful device for the visually impaired. Named Dot, this smartwatch allows them to access digital information easily. It is said to be the first wearable for such people. How does it work? Let us check out this post to know more.

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Braille Smartwatch

Dot can be used to set alarms, relay text messages and read location directions. The features of this smartwatch could rival those of the standard ones. However, Dot is different than others in its user notification process. The smartwatch uses Braille. There are four sets of six dots which raise and lower to form four Braille characters at a time. This happens at a speed of up to 100 times per second. If this speed also seems too fast for the user, it can be slowed down to even one Braille character per second.

Dot can be used for 10 hours with a single charge, which is similar to around five days for the average user.

Eric Ju Yoon Kim, co-founder and CEO of the company said “Until now, if you got a message on iOS from your girlfriend, for example, you had to listen to Siri read it to you in that voice, which is impersonal. Wouldn’t you rather read it yourself and hear your girlfriend’s voice saying it in your head?”

Dot can alert users of the incoming notifications with a vibration motor which is integrated inside the smartwatch. The notifications are sent from the phone to the smartwatch via Bluetooth.

Raising $100,000

Dot raised $100,000, in the first round of funding from the ActnerLab accelerator and an extra amount of $500,000 from Tech Incubator Program for Startups of the South Korean government. The team will opt for a second round of funding with a goal of $1 million. The company hopes to sell the Dot all across the globe with successful funding.

The company is also looking at other applications where its Braille technology can be used, like use in ATMs and trains where users will get information about their bank balance or train timings.

US citizens might be able to get Dot by December this year with a price of under $300.

What do you think about this device? Is it a helpful innovation? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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