We saw earlier this year how the Braille Smart Gear could allow the visually impaired to use smartwatches. The concept device is reportedly at the prototype stage but it’s not clear when it might launch. It now looks like it already has some competition as a South Korean startup this week unveiled the Dot Braille smartwatch which also uses a Braille display rather than the usual LCD or AMOLED display.
The Dot display consists of four groups of six dots each. This is enough for it display four Braille characters at a time. With a refresh rate that varies from 1 hertz to 100 hertz (very slow to very fast), Dot can display notifications or messages at a pace comfortable for the user.
A number of usual smartwatch functions will be supported. Along with providing the time, it will also display notifications, messages, navigation and alarms. It will use Bluetooth 4.0 to connect to a smartphone (Android or iOS).
“Until now, if you got a message on iOS from your girlfriend, for example, you had to listen to Siri read it to you in that voice, which is impersonal. Wouldn’t you rather read it yourself and hear your girlfriend’s voice saying it in your head?” asks Dot co-founder and CEO, Eric Ju Yoon Kim.
Dot expects that its smartwatch will have a battery life of about 10 hours. It should give average users about five days between charges.
The Dot Braille smartwatch is expected to go on sale in Canada and the U.S. in December. It will sell for less than US$300 (about CA$390) but only 10,000 will be available. The company is already looking at expanding sales to additional markets including South Korea, Japan and China.
Source : Tech In Asia