Korean Start-Up To Unveil World’s First Braille Smartwatch At Mobile World Congress 2016
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - A start-up business in South Korea is going to unveil the world's first braille smartwatch for the visually challenged individuals at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016 in Barcelona, Spain from February 22 to 25 as announced by SK Telecom, South Korea's largest telecomm company, on Tuesday.
(Photo credit: tech.firstpost.com)
Dot Inc., the South Korean tech developer of the braille smartwatch, said the latest device has 30 braille dots on the face of the watch. They will be used by blind people to guide them in typing and sending messages without any form of limitation. A special module set has reduced the watch to a wearable size, making it more affordable at a selling price of $300 .
"Ninety percent of blind people become blind after birth, and there's nothing for them right now - they lose their access to information so suddenly," said Eric Ju Yoon Kim, CEO and co-founder of Dot Inc., in an interview with Tech in Asia.
"Dot can be their lifeline, so they can learn Braille and access everyday information through their fingers, which is the goal of Braille literacy."
The braille smartwatch currently has voice-to-message services, which may create privacy issues for blind people using their smartphones in public areas. However, it is expected that the device is going to improve the overall mobile experience of the visually impaired users.
According to The Korea Herald, a concept model was first revealed in 2015. Apparently, it got a lot of attention from people around the world, prompting the development of the watch.
And for the first time, the final product will be introduced to the public during this year's Mobile World Congress, dubbed as the largest gathering for telecomm industry.
Dot Inc. is one of SK Telecom's several business firms. The latter has been supporting the tech developer under the start-up accelerator program called "Bravo! Restart" by providing development funds, an office space for one year and services for planning and consultation to complete the braille smartwatch, Business Korea reports.
"We will support Korean start-ups to expand their global presence during the MWC," said Kim Jeong-soo, an executive at SK Telecom. "Our efforts continue to repeat their success stories."