In today’s tech world, visually impaired Joes get a pretty raw deal with most devices around, from phones to watches, needing their accessibility features changed fairly dramatically in order to be used. So the Dot smartwatch should be a very welcome addition to the market.
The Dot is a smartwatch manufactured purely for the blind and visually impaired. It’s designed in South Korean and looks a lot like a regular fitness tracker – a pretty cool one at that! The concept for the Dot is very simple; the face can display four braille characters at once, thanks to a grid of tiny physical dots that lower and rise to form braille letters.
The ‘active Braille display’ means that when a Joe finishes reading the displayed dots, a new set will appear. The cool thing is as the reader becomes accustomed to the Dot technology, it will automatically speed up, allowing Joes to scan information faster.
In theory, the Dot will provide blind and visually impaired Joes a far more private way of reading their own messages. At the moment, most smartphones will provide read back options or improve font sizes. Security passwords are also usually spoken which can create all manner of security issues.
In addition to reading messages without the whole knowing your business, the Dot is also said to include a navigation reader, an alarm and would also allow Joes to read eBooks.
The Dot sounds pretty incredible and there’s certainly a market for it with almost two million people in the UK who live with sight loss – that’s around 1 in 30 people. It’s set to cost around £192 ($300) and the makers hope to launch by December.