Dot's Braille smartwatch will finally ship to buyers after delays

The device could also be the first of many for the visually impaired
Dot's Braille smartwatch will finally ship

The South Korean startup behind a wearable for the visually impaired has announced its device will finally be available from next month.

The Dot is dropping after around three years of delays, with issues surrounding the display's durability and the functionality of its braille characters plaguing production.

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Dot is hoping to ship 100,000 watches in 2017, with 40,000 on the waiting list for next year. For those looking to pick one up off the shelf, a batch of 1,000 units will also be available in London.

Unlike most assistive smartwatches for the blind, which rely on audio prompts, the Dot projects messages through braille characters on a screen.

This is displayed by two sets of six dots, which raise to produce four braille characters at a time. New characters cycle at speeds ranging from 1-100 per second, with users also able to send simple replies or actions back through the device's two side buttons.

Dot is a Braille smartwatch to help the visually impaired

Eric Juyoon Kim, founder and CEO of Dot, indicated the wearable is simply the first step in offering braille devices to the visually impaired, particularly for those in developing countries.

Dot has already signed an agreement with Kenya's government to build 8,000 units of its upcoming educational braille reader, the Dot Mini.

It also has plans to collaborate with Google for next year's launch of the Dot Pad, an e-reader which will display shapes and images through buttons - something that could potentially aid the learning of maths and art.

Since it's taken so long for the company to reach this point with its first device, it's probably best to avoid holding your breath for a second and third product.

However, at least its 140,000 initial backers, which apparently included Stevie Wonder, can now look forward to sampling the Dot on their wrists.

Dot's Braille smartwatch will finally ship to buyers after delays

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1 Comment

  • Thijsvr says:

    Love that things like these are being developed. I have no need for them personally, but there are millions of people who do. This is a great idea that many people could benefit from.

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