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

The device could also be the first of many for the visually impaired
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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's Braille smartwatch will finally ship to buyers after delays

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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Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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