The Dot Watch is an innovative Braille smartwatch for visually impaired userss. It’s a basic smartwatch with features that allow users to have a new option for accessing information on their smartphones.
Dot watch design and display layout
The Dot Watch is elegant and comes in a simple design. The Braille display sits on the face of the watch. It has four cells, and below the cells are two touch sensors that allow you to scroll through the display.
On the right side of the watch, there are three controls: the “Select” button, the “Dot Crown” dial and the “Home” button. With these controls, you’ll be able to operate the watch’s different functions.
However, the main concern is that the watch is a bit restrictive given that it only displays four Braille cells; or four letters or numbers, at once. The touch sensors make scrolling through notifications easier, but it would do a lot of good if more cells were added.
The watch also has an auto-scroll feature, which lets the next set of characters be automatically displayed while reading notifications. You can also adjust the auto-scroll speed to suit your reading preference.
The Braille pins on the display are easy to read. You’d only have an issue with some of the dots not being raised if you put too much pressure on the display with your fingers when the pins are starting to appear.
Display needs protection
The Dot watch undoubtedly needs a covering for water and dirt resistance, especially because the watch will be worn in all sorts of environments. While using it, you’d have to make a conscious effort to prevent any water splashes on the watch, considering it has 24 holes.
Two modes available
The Dot wristwatch has two modes. You can either use it as a standalone watch, or pair it with a smartphone, as it is compatible with both android and iOS devices.
Compatible with android and iOS
The Dot Watch connects with android and iPhones, allowing users to receive and view notifications on the watch in Braille. If you pair it with a smartphone using the Dot Watch app, you would be able to read out notifications on the Watch itself. Pairing the watch to the app is also a very simple process.
First, you’ll install the Dot Watch app, create an account, and pair with your smartphone. The watch works by Bluetooth pairing. Once paired, you can receive notifications from your phone, tell the time and date, and use other features. You can easily read these on the watch’s Braille display.
From the app, you have access to the watch’s settings, you can also check the battery status, set an alarm and use the “learn Braille” function. The latter allows you to send a message to the watch in Braille.
Overall, the Dot app links well with smart phones and there aren’t noticeable issues.
Includes some smart features
With Dot Wristwatch, you can check the current time, date, battery level, and notifications. You can also set a timer on the watch and start a stopwatch to time your activities. The Watch supports both 24 and 12-hour format which can be easily changed from the app or from the Watch itself.
You can also read notifications on the watch. The whole process is easy. Simply rotate the crown until it reads ‘NOTI’ on the dial and presses the Select button. If there are no notifications, it will just read “NONE” otherwise it will start raising the letters. As there are only four cells, you are limited to four characters but you can tap the touchpads below the cells to scroll forwards and backward.
There’s also a Memo feature on the watch, which lets you add memos to the Watch from the app.
Good Battery Life
Although the Dot Watch doesn’t mention the battery capacity on their website, they claim a 10-day battery backup. Certainly, the battery consumption may vary based on your usage but you should probably expect it to last for up to a week before needing a charge.
Detailed user manual
The Dot smartwatch can be quite easy to use if you follow the manual. It’s very detailed, and the quick start guide is available in Braille, and included with the watch, along with suggesting specific details like the description of the different parts. Also, contacting support for help gets you prompt responses.
Tactile Mode for users who don’t know Braille
On the Dot watch is The Tactile mode, which is designed for users who don’t know Braille. Usually, interactions on the watch are through Braille, but with this mode, instead of showing Braille characters, you can, for example, know the time by the number of pins raised.
For instance, to show 6:02 it will raise 6 dots on the left part of the dial and two dots on the right part. The Tactile mode is however limited to the very basic functions of the watch. What that means is that features like notifications will still be shown in Braille.
Watch doesn’t include speakers
While the Dot watch alerts you when you get notifications such as messages or a call, allows you to check the caller information and choose between answering or declining a call, it does not include speakers, which means you need to have your phone nearby when accepting a call.
The watch would have been a whole lot more useful if it made sounds, but for now, it just vibrates. The vibrations could however be particularly handy for users who are deaf-blind.