Dot incorporation is one of the most interesting companies we have looked at during CES 2020, and we listed it as one of the Ubergizmo’s Best of CES award recipients because their technology can vastly improve the life of visually impaired people.
Dot Incorporation designs various devices that blind people can use as they all feature Braille, the tactile writing system used by people with low-vision. It consists of tiny raised dots that a trained person can “read” using tactile feedback.
Dot incorporation has built devices like smartwatches, tablets, and even laptop-sized devices that people can replace the display-enabled equivalent with.
It’s relatively easy to imagine how Dot Watch could be a substitute for a traditional smartwatch, but Dot Mini might be harder to grasp if you don’t have any Braille experience.
Dot Mini is similar in function to an Amazon Kindle. It can handle text-based content, which is “displayed” in Braille, and playing audio content is possible as well.
Loading content into the Dot Mini’s 16GB of internal storage can happen over WiFi, or simply using a microSD card. There’s a 3.5mm audio connector for headphones as well. Hundreds of thousands of books are available, so all kinds of content can be found.
Being able to use Dot Mini to browse websites is also pretty amazing. The experience is very different from a visual browser, but the device can load and read websites. Finally, the device can answer to voice commands, a feature that can be a big time-saver for common tasks and questions.
These devices are based on one common block: the Dot. You can think of it as the equivalent of a “pixel” for color displays.
It is programmable: every dot can be raised and lowered, and making it so small and thin is the enabler for all the associated devices.
Dot also works with 3rd party companies or agencies to put programmable and interactive Braille language into public signage or any other place where we would normally have text.
The World Health Organization estimates that there are 285M people worldwide who are visually impaired and 246M with low-vision.
At CES 2020, Dot Incorporation is part of the Seoul Pavilion, in the Las Vegas Sands Convention center, HallG #51223.