Working for People with Sight Loss

Labs Product Reviews – The Dot Watch Braille Smartwatch

Braille Dot Watch in silver with black strap

In the latest of our Technology Product Reviews, Brian Manning in the NCBI Labs team provides us with an insight into the first Braille Smartwatch designed for people with sight loss, the Dot Watch.

Item Name: Dot Watch
Reviewed by: Brian Manning

Description

The Dot Watch is a smartwatch developed by South Korean company, Dot Incorporation. The device features a Braille display made up of 24 small pins, which help visually impaired users tell the time, receive texts and notifications, and read personal memos without a sound.

Unboxing / What are my first impressions of the item?

It is a good-sized braille watch that fits nice and decoratively on my wrist. It comes furnished with good support Braille manuals and my natural impulse to research these devices on YouTube rewarded me with very good information video tutorials on the watch which found me away in a hack with it.

I have been using this for a few days, how do I feel about it?

I like it! It does what it says on the tin. I get access to the information I need in a well organised and presented manner.

Is it accessible?

For a Braille user, it is very accessible and as I have previously alluded to the accompanying manual and support videos are well laid out and very informational.

What did I like?

The results it provides are quite literally at your fingertips. It is concise and it links well with your smart phone which you link through the dot watch app.

What didn’t I like?

The four cells can be a bit restrictive but that is the nature of what the watch has to be any more cells would probably render the watch impracticable. I would have liked to get greater access to my phone such as answering calls etc.

Did it meet my expectations?

It met my expectations definitely.

What improvements, if any, would I like to see in this product?

It pretty much meets my expectations as it is. I know some Service Users have said they would prefer a smaller face but I think that this would not work as the four braille cells require a particular size of interface. I think in this case we have to sacrifice on the aesthetic for the overall functionality of the device.

Would I recommend this item to others?

For other Braille users definitely. It is a bit expensive but it is certainly worth buying it for the special Braille reader in your life.

Is there other/competing technology you have tried, similar to this item?

I have tried other smart watches such as the Apple Watch but they are not really like for like. The Dot Watch is definitely unique when you consider the nature and manner of the information it gives access to. I have been a lifetime user of conventional braille watches and I have to admit that I continue to use them but that is really down to the dinosaur nature of my personality.