As useful as smartwatches can be, they primarily rely on visual cues to convey information. A vibration alert may call your attention but the key information, such as an incoming call or text or a social media update, is show on the display. As such, they are of limited value to the visually impaired. South Korean designer Jihoon Kim came up with a solution: The Braille Smart Gear.
The Braille Smart Gear does away with the traditional display in favour of a braille terminal by which combinations of round-tipped pins are raised to enable the wearer to “read” the message in question. As you can see below, the display can support all of the usual smartwatch functions, including the time and date, displaying incoming messages, providing navigational directions and allowing you to accept and make calls when paired to a smartphone.
The 40mm Braille display consists of a grid of 14 by 16 pins arranged in cells that consist of 6 pins (2 by 3). Each cell can be coded to a letter, a number or another value that can then be “read.” Each pin has a diameter of only 1.5mm and is only 0.6mm tall.
According to Chasseurs de cool, the Braille Smart Gear is now at the prototype stage but little information is provided as to when it might come out, smartphone compatibility details (hopefully Android and iOS at least will be supported), or how much it might cost.