Smartwatches seem to be everywhere these days, and seemingly every company under the sun is releasing one. But one pocket of the market that has been untouched in delivering writs-borne notifications is smartwatches for the blind.

That is where Dot comes in, as it has just unveiled the first smartwatch to make use of braille. It features everything that one would expect from a traditional watch like messaging, navigation, Bluetooth 4.0, and an alarm – but all through a braille interface.

Dot 2

The company said that out of 285 million visually impaired people, 95% cannot read, and with the Dot smartwatch it aims to solve a number of issues.

It added that only 1% of normal books are translated to braille and e-readers specifically designed for the blind can retail for more than $2 000, while 95% of blind people give up to learn braille because of these reasons.

“We decided to make a device that has e-reading capabilities, retails for under $300 and is for 95% or new braille learners,” the South Korean company explains on the website.

The smartwatch can be programmed to display the characters between 1 hertz to 100 hertz, and is expected to go up for pre-order later this year.

“90% of blind people become blind after birth, and there’s nothing for them right now – they lose their access to information so suddenly. Dot can be their lifeline, so they can learn Braille and access everyday information through their fingers, which is the goal of Braille literacy,” Co-founder and CEO Eric Ju Yoon Kim told Tech in Asia.

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.