Life doesn’t come easy for many of us, however, for visually impaired people, it can be much harder. DOT is a smart braille watch, designed for visually impaired people so that they can also enjoy our current technology in away where they can take advantage of it.
Inspired by a blind classmate in University, Eric Kim, CEO of “DOT”, noticed that most of his classmates used an Ipad. However, the blind classmate carried around large, bulky textbooks which took longer to process than an Ipad. Although there were features in which blind people may use on the Ipad, accessibility was limited. Other adaptive technology devices were often overly expensive and there had been no major innovation in the technology, especially for braille. That is how Eric was inspired to create and develop dot.
Designer : Mason Joo
As a braille watch, “DOT” produces output texts in braille, one particular difference between a regular smartwatch and DOT lies in the way user insert and check information in braille rather than text or graphics. This watch incorporates small refreshable braille display. Any text data on user’s mobile device can be translated in braille through special application braille translation, this translation then will be sent to this smartwatch that will form a pattern based on those received data. The Actuator triggers braille pins on the module to form special pattern where user can use their fingertips on pins to read the output in braille.
A special app will allow information on user’s smartphone to be transmitted to the watch via Bluetooth. Good news, unlike other braille displays that read one line at a time this “active braille display” is designed to make braille automatically pass by in the user’s fingertips just like an escalator. Just like regular functions of a smart watch, DOT can alert user for every notification whether it’s an alarm, text message, instant message, social media notification, etc. received from a smartphone. The watch even has a simple voice recording feature that can be used without being connected to a mobile device.
In addition to the smart watch, dot Incorporation is looking forward to the prospect of creating a public braille module in bank ATMs that will increase financial information accessibility among the visually impaired. Upon completion, the braille module will be modified to appear in public places, transportation, and home appliances such as a furnace, microwave, and rice cooker. The research is also set towards manufacturing an affordable Ipad-like device that renders various shapes and mathematical equations, as well as text, using multiple braille cell arrays.