While Google Glass and the Apple Watch have become the poster boys for wearable technology, a small team in South Korea are working on a wearable with a difference.
Dot isn’t designed to compete with the Apple Watch, or indeed Google’s Android Wear. Instead it’s an e-Braille smartwatch, designed for the 285 million blind people around the world.
Using a technology called ‘Active Braille’ the small smartwatch can be worn on the wrist, connected to an iPhone or Android smartphone using Bluetooth and then relay important information such as alerts, messages and even navigational instructions.
Talking to Tech in Asia, Dot CEO Eric Ju Yoon Kim said:
“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?”
The small startup team behind Dot have been working on the ‘Active Braille’ technology for some time, trialling it in regularly used locations such as ATMs and at train stations.
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With the technique now ready for consumer use the team put it all together within the Dot.
Remarkably nothing like the Dot really exists, and with Braille e-Readers costing thousands of dollars the team’s major focus was on keeping the cost down.
When Dot launches in the US in December, the team are aiming for a $300 price tag — well within the realms of a normal smartwatch — and can even offer an impressive week’s worth of battery life before it’ll need charging again.