It is hard to imagine what it is like to navigate the world without sight. Dot is creating the first tactile smartwatch and Pad for the Blind and visually impaired. The design’s initiative is to break down barriers by integrating an active braille technology in a mobile form. It is a perfect balance of design and accessibility.
Dot Pad is a multi-layered braille cell that offers a variety of tactile contents that can be learned and reformed. The braille technology operates on either electromagnetic or piezoelectric principle. It is arranged in a six-pin array, as currents and voltages are applied, various combinations of pins are elevated and retracted. This allows the visually impaired and blind to read by feeling the raised or absent dots. With a multi-layered and automatic braille cells, It can improve the quality of life and solve the information gap and educational difficulties.
Dot stated, “Through the collaborations with the world’s top experts in the related fields, we have closely monitored and assessed numerous problems faced by the visually impaired people, and gradually, we are implementing to improve one step at a time. We have assessed countlessly many inconveniences that the visually impaired people experience while using the public services, and from this, we are preparing to change the public spaces into the spaces of equal value for all. Busses, subways, trains, and airlines – you name it. With Dot’s technology, we will bring the changes to these places so that the visually impaired and blind people can fully enjoy the conveniences.”
This invention can further improve the accessibility of information. Within the music industry, most of the information is announced written online or published. Dot Pad and watch could potentially assist in reaching out to the visually impaired and Blind audiences that the music industry has not had an opportunity to reach out to. Being in a generation where information is extremely accessible, we forget that there are a group of audiences that have not been given the equal chance to be involved.
The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) stated that in the U.K., as of 2014, 143,000 people are registered blind and over 147, 000 are registered partially sighted. It is estimated that by the year 2050, 4.1 million people will be affected by sight loss in the UK alone. With this statistic, we are calling for a change in public spaces and daily life. Along with music events, how do we create a space for those who are visually impaired or blind to enjoy as well? It is definitely a hard task to accomplish, but what technology is offering now opens up avenues that push boundaries and motivates us to think outside the box.