People with vision disorders or who are completely blind are quite limited when it comes to using smartphones or reading e-books on an e-reader. There are a few solutions currently on the market, but they retail for thousands of dollars. A Korean company is seeking to address this issue with a new Braille smartwatch that can read text messages and read e-books for $300.
The new device is called DOT has a raised sequences of bumps, which are readable, or touchable as words, are created by four rows of six dots that rise up or are lowered to make up to four letters at a time. This is perfect for reading e-books while on the go, but once paired with a smartphone small vibrations will let you know when there is an incoming text message.
The US-based National Federation of the Blind estimates that just 10% of visually impaired people actually learn braille, while the UK’s Royal National Institute of Blind People reports literacy figures of less than 1%. The World Health Organization estimates that there are 285 million people with severe visual impairment around the world, of whom 39 million are completely blind.
Those are some very depressing figures, but one of the most unique aspects about the DOT is that it employs a Braille learning system. If you want to buy one of these puppies it will be available in Canada and the US this December for $300.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.