The mainstream market for adaptive technology and wearable technology isn’t new. It is becoming more common for Access World to cover this technology, which ranges from $39.95 for the Ditto to $599 for an Apple Watch with Cellular.
There are many features, functions, and accessibility levels of wearables, just as there are with all technology. A review of a wearable technology that is rare in today’s market. Dot Watch 2 has a four-cell braille display, a feature not found on any other device of this type.
Deafblind users can access notifications from Android and iOS devices using this app. With its unique functions, it can be used by those not proficient in braille without compromising its functionality.
This review will discuss some of these features briefly, but the Dot will primarily be reviewed as a smartphone companion. Dot Watch means a second-generation watch unless otherwise stated. June 2018 marked the end of the first generation.
What the Braille Watch looks like
A plain package contained the Braille Watch. It became more interesting once the box was opened. With the plastic of the second box removed, there were some pleasant tactile surprises regarding the packaging of the watch.
A braille message was embossed on the left side of the box. “Reinventing tactile communication” was written on the right side of the poster. On the same side, a piece of paper with the word “manual” was taped to the braille manual. The box was opened by pulling on this paper.
Within the box, there is a manual. The watch’s graphics are tactile and cover the basics, although it may look slightly dated. You can contact Dot Incorporation support for the most recent version of the manual by consulting the user manual within the mobile application, or the guide on the Dot Incorporation website.
The Braille Watch and the proprietary charger are tucked away beneath the manual. There is a wristband attached to the Dot, so it’s ready to wear right away. It is recommended that you charge the watch before the first use.
The charger with a magnetic attachment connects to the bottom of the watch with a circular magnetic attachment. The charger with a USB plug connects to any power source with a standard USB plug.
The watch’s magnets and charger’s magnets must be lined up. To do so, locate the indentation on the bottom of the watch. This charger features three dots in the shape of the braille letter L. This aligns the magnets for charging when the watch’s indentation is matched up with these dots.
Vibrations will indicate that the battery is charging, even if it is not completely drained. A completely dead watch battery will not vibrate. You will need to wait a few minutes for the battery to charge, then press and hold the Home button for 3 seconds to turn on your Braille Watch.
An overview of the Braille Watch
Braille Watches are made of aluminum. The device is circular, a little larger than an Apple Watch, even though it is proportioned differently. The case measures 43 millimeters.
A crown and two buttons are located on the right side of the watch. A crown can be turned in either direction. On the right, the closest button is Home, while the other is Select (I wore the watch on my left wrist).
Putting the watch in Standby mode is done using the Home button, and waking it up with the Select button. Keeping debris away from the 4-cell display is made easier with a protective cover over the face.
Toward the bottom of the display, you will find the 4-cell braille display. A second bar will be on the other side of a metal bar level with the protective cover of the watch.
The touch sensors for panning the display are located behind that, parallel to cells 2 and 3. Those under cells 2 and 3 pan backward and forward, respectively.
There is something quite elegant about the wristband on the Braille Watch. The Apple Watch Milanese Loop feels very similar to this one, as it is made of magnetic mesh. A magnet secures the braided watchband to your wrist, like the Milanese Loop.
Waking the Braille Watch
By pressing the Select button, you will wake your Braille Watch. The Braille Watch will vibrate and a display showing something that resembles braille will appear, but it will be difficult for the user to comprehend. Tactile and Braille modes are available on the Dot Watch.
This feature uses braille code designed by Dot Inc. by default. This manual section provides further details. A 3:00 time for example would result in cell 1 being blank but cell 2 containing three pins. Three and four represent five minutes each.
The Timer and Stopwatch applications work differently when using this unique concept. However, it requires a unique code on the watch. You can switch between modes by pressing Home, Select, and Home again on the Braille Watch.
In order to wear the Braille Watch on the right wrist, you can change its orientation if you wish. Two presses of Home followed by two presses of Select will accomplish this. Press and hold Select. Next, press and hold Home twice. Once you have paired the device with your phone, you can switch the orientation by using the app.
Smartphones and Braille Watches
Firstly, download the mobile application on a mobile device before pairing it with a Dot Watch. Apple and Android users can download the apps. The application you need is Dot Watch 2, not Braille Watch 1. Android 4.4.4 and later are compatible with this app.
Due to a lack of experience with Android devices, I will not review the Android app. Using my iPhone 8, I evaluated the Dot.
Install and register Dot Watch 2 after it has been downloaded. The Dot Watch is ready for pairing once you have registered. Use Voice-over with speech or braille to access every part of the Dot Watch app. It was a simple and straightforward process for me.
The Dot Watch can be paired with your smartphone here. Despite the fact that a connection can be established without a smartphone, the Braille Watch will automatically sync the time with your mobile device once the connection is made.
The Braille Watch App
Your Braille Watch will be placed into the first of four tabs, My Watch, as soon as you have registered and paired it. There are also tabs for Time, Functions, and Settings.
Wearing my watch
Information related to your account and the watch appears on My Watch. Welcome, and battery status is the first two elements.
When waking the Braille Watch, press the Select button and turn the crown clockwise once to see the battery status. Tactile mode displays the number as partially filled cells, while Braille mode displays the number in braille.
If at all possible, personalize the Braille Watch before using it. Watches vibrate to confirm that settings have been changed immediately, as well as to confirm the changes. The Back button is usually not required, but you can activate it if you wish to save your settings.
Located in the upper left corner, it is located at the top of the screen. You can change your account information and sign out of your account by clicking the first option on the Settings tab.
The last four digits of the serial number from your watch can be entered after selecting “Braille Watch.” First, you’ll find the Output Settings section. By using Auto-Scroll Speed, you can control the refresh rate of the display.
However, I couldn’t adjust the percentage higher than 86 percent. The cursor routing speed can be changed by double-tapping or pressing the cursor routing button. From this menu, you can also adjust the vibration intensity. It is not possible to increase the percentage above 86 percent.
Additionally, the Dot Watch has a picker item that allows you to adjust when it goes into standby. The same would apply if the value was set to the minimum or maximum. It is also possible to move the touch sensors by one cell or four cells.
Under Display Settings, you will find the rest of the options. You can set the watch mode first. By selecting either the month or date as the first option, you are able to customize how the date is displayed. The display of time can then be adjusted.
It automatically uses the time format of your mobile device, but you can change it to 12-hours or 24-hours if you wish. The Dot Watch can also be worn on your right wrist through Reverse Mode.
Clocks can be set as alarms, which can be notified at the top of each hour. As with the iPhone’s Clock App, you set alarms on the Braille Watch. As the watch will not be able to alert you when your iPhone’s alarm goes off, you must set alarms in the app, instead.
Under the third tab, under Functions, you will find a drop-down menu. The Braille Watch comes with these features to help you manage it. A message can be saved by using the Saved Messages function. Your iOS device will let you see all notifications saved from your watch in this section.
On the Braille Watch, you can also send numbers, letters, and anything typed on your mobile device to Study Braille. Using Tactile Mode, one could practice their braille skills with this feature.
Using Memo, you can write something on an iOS or Android device, and then have it available near you for reading. It is useful if you are in a hurry and are unable or unwilling to use your phone or braille display.
When you select this option, the watch will vibrate for five minutes in order to help you locate it. This feature may assist you in finding a lost Braille Watch if you possess the hearing to use it. So long as the phone is within the Bluetooth range of the device,
you can use the Braille Watch to locate it. You can play a tone and vibrate your phone by pressing the Home and Select together two times. If you want to hit it more than once, it only emits one sound and one second of vibration.
Braille Watch: Using it
Take a look at how well it performs on a day-to-day basis. My Dot Watch 2 has been a part of my life for about two weeks.
You may not be used to the braille displayed on the watch because it employs a different technology. While it is refreshing, this technology prevents you from touching the display. Notification must be selected, read by selecting the four cells, pressing the touch sensor, lifting your finger,
and then placing the finger back on the watch to continue reading. Even the most technical braille user will find this to be a bit of a learning curve. Once I adjusted to this process, I sped up the auto-scroll speed as much as I could.
It becomes difficult to use certain features that constantly refresh, such as the timer, if you don’t lift your fingers off the screen. Perhaps the user could set a vibration after a set amount of time has passed.
Despite the protective cover, I did not find that my finger pressure interfered with the display. I usually fixed the display when it misfired by scrolling backward and then forwards. Pressing Home took care of any issues in a few cases.
I checked my iPhone notification in rare cases when I could not understand what was displayed. It took me two or three attempts for every 100 notifications.
How to Get Notified
Whenever I received a notification, the Braille Watch vibrated twice as soon as it was received. In the watch, selecting the button and turning the crown counterclockwise will display notifications (abbreviated as “not”), and then pressing select again will reveal notifications.
Selecting again will give you the option to re-order your notifications chronologically. The system is, however, more complex than the Ditto system that I had in mind. Almost every app that offers notifications allows you to customize the vibrations.
The feature is especially useful for iOS users, as they cannot receive all notifications sent to their phones. So, the vibrations would let me know to which application I should respond. If this cannot be implemented, a feature that notifies you of phone calls and SMS messages from selected contacts will be quite useful.
It seems you can customize the apps from which you receive notifications on Android, but I hope that Dot Incorporation will consider similar services to what Ditto offers iOS users.
Even tells the time with this watch!
With the press of a button, you can check the time quickly and easily. Compared to the Apple Watch’s Taptic Time feature, this was much faster, since the vibrations were very slow. In comparison to using the slow Morse code output, I simply press Select, and the Dot Watch displays the time instantly.
You must note that the Braille Watch does not automatically adjust for time zone differences when traveling from one time zone to another, as I experienced when traveling from Charlotte to Phoenix. You have to pair your Braille Watch with your phone in order to synchronize the time with the watch. Changing your Braille Watch settings may resolve this issue