A South Korean startup has created Dot – the first wearable for the visually impaired.
According to Tech in Asia, Dot wearable has four sets of six dots, which raise to produce four braille characters at a time. New characters can cycle at speeds ranging from 1-100 per second, which should suit all skill levels.
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Current solutions are either expensive or inelegant, and phone software mostly offers read-out-loud apps, which can be a drag when out in public. Dot says you should get about 10 hours of battery life from the watch, which equates to roughly five days for the average user.
Co-founder and 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?"
In the first round of seed funding, Dot managed to raise $100,000 from the ActnerLab accelerator and an additional $500,000 from the South Korean government's Tech Incubator Program for Startups. The team is going for $1 million for its second round, and hopes to get Dot selling internationally.
With the growing potential of the IoT (Internet of Things), Dot is looking at other applications for its braille technology. The company has started trialling modules at train stations and ATMs, providing information on bank balances or train times.
Kim continued: "The Braille at ATMs currently tells you 'This is an ATM,' which isn't super helpful. I think these sorts of public places, and the public sector in particular, could become our largest market in the future."
Dot should be on sale by December in the US, and will have a price tag of under $300.