A wearable device that outputs text in Braille
What is it?
The smart Braille watch, ‘DOT’ is a wearable device that outputs text in Braille. One prominent difference between a regular smart watch and ‘DOT’ is inserting and checking information in Braille rather than text or graphics; a small, refreshable Braille display is used. A ‘DOT’ application will enable information on a smartphone to be transmitted to the smart watch by Bluetooth, outputting the information in Braille. Unlike modern refreshable Braille displays, which read one line at a time, ‘active Braille display’ is utilized to make Braille automatically pass by in the user’s hand as if it were an escalator. As well as all the functions of a regular watch, the smart watch outputs every notification (alarm, text message, etc.) received on a smartphone. The watch even has a simple voice recording feature that can run without being connected to a mobile device. We will first begin the education process with our sound-braille sync function. For example, when an app on a mobile device reads out loud the letter “p”, the braille smartwatch will display “p” in Braille. The user will be able to feel in braille what they hear through a speaker. However, this is just our first feature for education and we will be adding more features to improve the learning process of users. The dot Team is able to create a model that is specifically produced to meet UNICEF’s standard and purpose. Unlike our current plan which requires more money to produce, we have a plan in ready for UNICEF: the watch is able to have rubber straps to make it more affordable and durable. Without being connected to a network, users will be able to access basic education functions and store any text contents in the 4GB memory on the device.
How is it used?
The dot Braille smartwatch is a wearable device which people can wear on their wrist.
What technologies does it incorporate?
Actuators incorporating solenoid, which uses electromagnetic force triggered between magnets and coil, are used to protrude each Braille pin. The user will feel the pins that have been activated by the actuator with their fingertips and recognize the pattern as a letter or a number in Braille. Force feedback haptic technology is used in our Braille smartwatch.
How does it work?
A text data on a user’s mobile device or any text data stored on the watch will be translated in Braille through Application Braille Translation. The Actuator on the watch will trigger Braille pins on the module to protrude according to the pattern, and the user will put their fingertips on the pins to read the output in Braille.
Who uses it?
Through the Braille smartwatch, we believe the 285 million visually impaired people worldwide can learn Braille and become proficient in braille language through accessing a variety of information including education contents, text data, and the bible. Blind children who were never given the chance to literacy will be able to meet the academic standards in which they can study at schools.
Why does it help?
Through our Braille smartwatch, more information will become accessible for people living with blindness. As well, there are times where speech is not enough; literacy becomes crucial in many occasions. Research shows that blind people who are Braille literate have a higher chance of academic success and employment. With our device, we want to provide a chance to literacy for blind adults and children worldwide.
Eric Kim, Roy Kim, Ki Kwang Sung, Mason Joo
These pages have been pulled directly from applications submitted to the Wearables for Good Challenge in 2015. They represent the work of the individual teams and have subsequently not been edited.