Seol, February 27: Spending three years of developing, South Korean startup 'Dot' has come up with a fantastic smartwatch for the visually impaired.
The watch, which has a sleek, minimalist design inspired by Apple’s own smart technology products, is set to go on sale this March. The company claims to have 140,000 customers already lined up, including music legend Stevie Wonder.
Dot founder and CEO Eric Kim first thought of the design when he was studying at the University of Washington, USA. While most students were able to take advantage of tablet devices in lectures, he noticed a blind student struggling to carry large, bulky braille books.
Dot’s website said that, as most smart technology is ‘designed exclusively for the majority, our visually impaired communities can’t benefit from much of its advances’. Previously, smartwatches for the visually impaired have relied on audio prompts, but these can be disruptive.
Notably, Dot’s watch, which has a battery life of up to seven days, displays four Braille characters in real time on its uber-cool white face.
The company plans to ship its first 100,000 watches by the end of 2017, retailing at $290 (£323). Kim said the watch is just the first step in a bigger picture offering braille devices to the blind. Also in the pipeline is the Dot Mini, an educational braille reader which would go on sale for $200 (£160), and a Kindle-like Dot Pad which could hit shelves as early as 2018.