TECH

The Dot: Incredible Braille Smartwatch Lets People Feel Text Messages

Genius.

01/03/2017 11:05 GMT | Updated 01/03/2017 11:08 GMT

Nearly 20 years ago, Tim Berners-Lee suggested that the power of the web was in its universality.

“Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect,” Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web, insisted.

But two decades later, his vision for a universally-accessible internet has not materialised.

The internet giants regularly flout readability guidelines by employing small, faint fonts, and tech-to-speak functions are far from perfect.

But now, a South Korean company has unveiled a new smartwatch that could present a solution.

Dot

The Dot smartwatch has a touch display which displays text from any app, including the time, texts and directions, on the paired smartphone in Braille.

It’s the brainchild of Eric Kim, the founder and CEO of Dot, who told HuffPost US he had the idea while seeing a blind classmate at university lugging large, bulky Braille textbooks to seminars while other students used tablets.

Dot

The watch does, however, have some drawbacks. Only a small fraction of visually impaired and blind people can read braille, and, as the BBC notes, it could be difficult to read long passages on the watch’s small face.

Nevertheless, for Braille readers who want to be better connected, it could be a simple solution. It’s set to hit selected shops in the UK this month.