Until recently, little consideration has been given to those who cannot see what appears on a smooth, pixelated screen. There is text-to-speech and Siri commands, but the lack of smart devices supporting Braille has hampered literacy among the blind community. However, Dot, a South Korean start-up company wants to change the statistics and empower the visually impaired with Braille-supported smart devices.
Their smartwatch uses a refreshable Braille display made up of a series of dots, which can project up to four Braille characters at a time. The smartwatch has a tactile face that is full of actively shifting dots that pop-up or recede so users can read messages, e-books, or directions and time from their smartphone.
Users can change the speed at which these characters refresh, which has the same effect for people with impaired vision as scrolling fast or slow through a text. The battery life lasts for around 10 hours of active refreshing, or the equivalent of five days of use.
After a period where the needs of the blind and visually impaired were forgotten this smart watch by Dot is another addition to the “Braille-tech” family. Earlier in July, a prototype for the Blitab, a responsive Braille device for reading and writing that functions like a tablet and ebook, was released.