Smartwatches are big business at the moment for the likes of Apple, LG, and Samsung, but if you’re one of the estimated 350,000 people with vision problems in Australia, you’re out of luck. Fortunately, a solution may well be coming.
The solution is a one of a kind gadget we’re surprised we haven’t seen before, with the idea of a smartwatch that has a changing tactile interface instead of just the typical flat touchscreen.
That might sound like a lot of jargon, and it is, but the regular touchscreens used on your typical smartwatch may not be quite as useful if you can’t actually see what you’re supposed to be pressing.
Instead, a group of South Korean innovators have come together to launch what is essentially the first smartwatch made for people who cannot see, but can read braille, with a band that uses “active braille” technology, allowing the act of reading braille to be translated to a smart gadget.
The concept is called “Dot” and aims to provide a watch, messenger, navigation information, and an eBook reader on the wrist of a user who can’t see, allowing them to see what a phone or smart device is communicating to their person by way of plastic dots that are raised and lowered as they read.
Picked up by Science Alert, the concept is expected to cost under the $300 USD mark, though we’re checking with Dot’s developers to find out if an Australian price is close to being finalised, or if it will even arrive in Australia at all.
Dot isn’t the only device made for people who are hard of sight, and we’ve heard of at least one made-for-purpose phone that serves this area, allowing those who are blind to make calls, but this is the first time we’ve seen interactive braille technology find its way to a wrist in an easy to use capacity for what appears to be a relatively modest price.
For now, there’s little information as to where you’ll find one short of Dot’s website (which we’re linking to in this text), but the moment we hear back from Dot’s people regarding local availability and pricing, you can be sure we’ll let you know.