The DOT Braille SmartWatch project has won the Grand LIA for Design at the 2016 London International Awards. Developed in South Korea, DOT the first Braille Smartwatch sets out to provide an interactive device for blind and visually impaired people. Online at dotincorp.com, the patented DOT Active Braille Technology reduces the size, weight, and price by more than ten times compared to existing digital Braille reading devices which rely on piezo-electricity. B&VI people can benefit from DOT in all areas of life: DOT makes communication easy and private, provides fast access to information anywhere, makes navigation and transport more convenient and safe, enables efficient, independent and joyful education, improves work performance and increases job opportunities, supports leisure and sports activities. Through the open DOT API, anyone can develop apps or services for DOT. Existing ones can be easily adapted. Apps for Braille education, social networking, navigation, news feed, weather and much more are already in development.
DOT is connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth and can receive any information in text form, from any app or service – e.g. notifications, texts, directions. It has a crown and two buttons for input – e.g. quick reply, accept calls, remote control. DOT comes with full smartwatch functionality: time, timer, alarm, stopwatch, gyroscope, and accelerometer. It’s made from super light durable aluminum, the battery lasts for 7 days and it costs $290. DOT’s patented Active Braille Technology is based on solenoid multi-actuators controlling four Braille cells with 24 pins by magnetism instead of piezoelectricity as in other Braille devices. This reduces size and production cost, increases speed and keeps energy consumption low. DOT uses haptic force feedback technology to detect finger movement on the pins and automatically change the pins to show the next characters. Along with software, this makes it possible to display text rapidly and conveniently even with limited Braille cells.
DOT is ready to be shipped for the patient who really needs it. Thousands of people around the world are already experiencing its benefits as testers with early access to final prototypes, at trade fairs, road shows, and stationary retail partners and at schools. 60,000 DOTs have been pre-ordered so far. Prominent visually impaired personalities like athlete Henry Wanyoike, singer Andrea Bocelli, and musician Stevie Wonder support DOT. There are cooperations with companies like Google and Uber, educational institutes and the 2018 Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang. DOT Smartwatch is only the entry device into the assistive technology market. Based on its patented technology other applications are already in development: DOT Mini with the lower price for developing countries. DOT Active Braille Technology for public facilities, such as ATMs and train stations. DOT Pad to be released in 2017.
The main goal in development was to increase affordability. The development of DOT’s own innovative Active Braille Technology made this possible: It reduces size and production cost by more than ten times, increases speed and keeps energy consumption low. Strategically, the DOT Smartwatch is the entry device into the assistive technology market. Based on its technology, a low-price DOT Mini for developing countries, integration into utilities like ATMs and a DOT Pad are already in development for release in 2017/18. DOT was developed in close relationship with Braille education institutes all over the world, to deliver a final product that fits the actual needs of people. DOT is promoted and distributed at trade fair and institutions for the blind and visually impaired worldwide, as well as in media for the blind and visually impaired. The PR strategy involves reaching out to friends and families of blind and visually impaired people.
The DOT Braille Smart Watch was developed in Munich and Seoul, by global chief creative officer Alexander Schill, executive creative director Bill Yom, creative directors Franz Roeppischer and Lorenz Langgartner, copywriter Rohan Vitus Fernandes, art directors Azim Abasbek, Kostiantyn Liakhov and Henning Janzen, graphic designer Jung-Seok Lee, creative operations manager Diane Schulz, working with Dot Incorporation head of client services Eric Ju Yoon Kim, account director Ahrum Choi, brand manager Susan Kim, and innovation Per Juul Poulsen.