The DOT – World’s First Smart Watch for the Visually Impaired

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Time is one of the factors that play a vital role in everyone’s life. With an exceptional variety of smart watches showing up in the market these days, these Smart wearable devices not only make your life easy by telling you the time but also gives you smartphone services; e.g. you can read your messages or emails on your smart watch, make a call, or even keep track of your physical health.

In today’s world of technological advancement where everyone gets to cherish the wonders of modern tech, why stay behind if you have a visual disability? Almost 285 million people in this world have some kind of optical disability. Among those, about 246 million people face small vision disability and a majority of up to 39 million individuals are completely blind. Despite all the high-end services the modern watches may provide, the visually challenged remain unassisted.

None of the companies, till now, have been thinking in this direction; about making such a watch to fulfill the needs of those people with visual problems, unlike Dot Incorporation, who recently launched its new invention; the Dot Watch. Manufactured in Korea, the Dot is the world’s first ever mechanical smart watch made specially to cater the needs of the visually impaired.

This inconspicuous device follows the traditional rules of using Braille technology to assist the blind in reading the time. The crystal dots on the watch flip in an up and down motion through an embedded motor. The visual impaired individual, wearing this smart watch, can then feel these moving dots with their fingers and know the time.

This patented Braille DOT technology reduces the weight, size, and price of the watch to at least ten times, in comparison to the existing smart watches that are based on the piezo-electricity technology. Also, while other machines that use Braille system cost almost $3000 to $15,000; the smart watch- Dot is available at a retailing price of $290 USD. It can be pre-ordered from the company’s official website.

Specifications of the DOT:

The Dot is incredibly impressive considering the way it is designed.

    • The outer casing of the watch is made up of Aluminum.
    • It weighs only 27 grams.
    • The Dot Watch is 43 mm wide and 12.5 mm thick.
    • It comes with three different sizes of leather straps, that wraps on the wrist through one side.
    • New characters cycle at speed of 1/100 per second
    • It has two buttons on the side buttons, which can be used to send instant message replies.

  • The Dot is backed by a rechargeable battery that can last up to seven days.
  • It has a touch sensor
  • The watch possesses a vibration motor
  • It included Bluetooth Technology
  • It surely is a big watch with a strong concave dial
  • Features: it offers social media alerts, weather updates, navigate directions on Google Maps and translation of image-to-text
Working of the DOT:

This smart watch has a big concave dial with four motor modules embedded underneath it. Each of these motors controls six dots i.e. every single dot can be elevated or dropped independently at a time to display up to 4 Braille characters. The person wearing the watch can then read the Braille characters as he would do so in the traditional manner, with braille.

Most of the technologies today use audio commands to assist the blind with the tasks, but the Dot Watch uses the Braille to display messages of the watch’s screen in the form of four characters.

Business:

Due to immense demand and a very positive reaction from the audience, the company is aiming to ship almost 100000 of Dot watches in 2017, and have already booked almost 40,000 pre-orders for next year, which is being put on their waiting list. Almost 1000 units of the Dot will be shelved in London and will be available at the price of $320.

An Educational Braille Reader, known as Dot Mini, will soon be coming up in the market, for which the company has been reported to have signed a contract of 8000 units, worth $1 million with the Kenya Government, to be sold at a lower price of about $200 each.

The Dot also plans to launch their Dot Pad – an e-reader that looks like Kindle, in cooperation with Google, in the year 2018. This e-reader could aid the disabled in learning mathematics through different shapes and pictures displayed via tactile buttons. This gives the developers a great opportunity to make apps that will be easily operable on the Dot Pad.

About the company:

The watch has been under the development phase since 2014, by a South Korean Startup. From March this year, the Dot Incorporation finally started delivering its product to almost 140,000 financiers, including the legend of the music industry- Stevie Wonder, who said:

“We need to make every single thing accessible to every single person with a disability”

The CEO of Dot Incorporation- Eric Juyoon says that the came up with the idea of this device while he was studying at the University of Washington, USA. He said that amidst most of the students who were enrolled at the University using modern high-tech devices for the lectures, his eye caught the attention of a visually impaired student who was struggling to carry the heavy braille books so as to catch-up with daily lessons.

According to him, this watch is just the first step to the big picture, as the Dot Incorporation is planning to bring new potentials to market using the DOT, especially for the visually impaired and blind.

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