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Countdown to the UK release of the first Braille smartwatch

The first Braille smartwatch for visually impaired people is planned to be shipped out to customers in May, after initially taking around 140,000 orders from customers around the world.

The Dot Watch lets users read messages through four Braille characters on the watch face. It connects to a user’s phone via Bluetooth and can then receive messages and notifications from services and apps on the phone, such as WhatsApp, Google Maps or traditional SMS texts.

Users can send messages, scroll through notifications and switch between functions using two buttons and a dial on the side of the device. As well as featuring traditional watch functions (such as a stopwatch and alarm), the Dot device also alerts users to incoming phone calls and lets them know who is calling.

The Dot Watch was designed by South Korean technology startup Dot, founded by Eric Kim. The device has been in development for several years, and has gone through various changes and improvements after being tested by visually impaired users.

Although the watch is available to pre-order, it has not yet been publicly released or shipped out in the UK. Alex Lee, Sales and Marketing Director at Dot, told e-Access Bulletin that the company is “awaiting further beta test feedback from various institutions and individuals from across the globe” before confirming an exact release date, but said that Dot is working towards shipping watches to customers in mid-late May.

Lee said that pricing for the Dot Watch in the UK will be “starting from £350 and subject to changes pending software and hardware improvements before release.”

Speaking about other future Dot projects, Lee said that other “lifestyle improvements for the vision-impaired and deafblind communities” were being explored. Lee claimed that the cell technology used in the Dot Watch is leading the company towards a ‘full-fledged tablet-like device that will be our next flagship project.”

Find out more about the Dot Watch at the Dot website:
http://eab.li/65 .

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