First off, we will explain how these watches work. There are multiple options when searching for a great watch for people who are blind or have a visual impairment.
A talking watch is as simple as it sounds. The watch will tell you the time, date or, day and year once you press a button. There are talking watches with a male voice, female voice and some offer both options.
Another option for people who are blind and visually impaired is a braille watch. Braille watches come in two different forms, just like regular watches you have the option between analog and digital.
An analog braille watch can be flipped open. In this way, the wearer can tell the time by touching the dots used to represent the different times on a watch.
A digital braille watch requires the wearer to be a braille user. The time on the digital braille watch changes like a digital clock. Therefore, the dots change whenever time changes.
Eone is an innovative brand that had the mission to create fashionable products accessible for everyone. They created the Bradley timepiece. Named after former naval officer Bradley Snyder, whom he lost his sight completely after serving in Afghanistan. He didn’t let his disability stop him. He competed in the Paralympics and won multiple gold and silver medals, earning him a world record.
Even though we just explained the two different options, the Bradley timepiece is neither of those - you tell the time by touch. The watch uses raised hour markers: a triangle for twelve, long bars for three, six, and nine, and shorter bars for the other numbers. Then there are two magnetic balls that rotate. One spins around on the watch in the middle, this one is used for the minutes. The other ball rotates around the edge of the watch; this is for the hours. This created an easy way to tell the time with your fingers, even without the use of braille.
The watch comes in all kinds of variations. You can choose between a black, grey, or rose gold, gold, or cobalt face with different material straps such as mesh, canvas, and leather. The watches start at $285.
With quite a range of quality talking watches, Time Optics is another brand that makes technology inclusive to all. They create watches for all ages, from children to the elderly.
They offer watches in all different styles: from metal to leather and from silver to gold. Time Optics also has ‘time teaching watches’.’ These help children with their skill to tell the time, they come in colorful designs with removable straps that you can purchase separately.
Their watches use the Unique Custom Tooled Talking IC Watch Chip. This voice chip, created by Time Optics, is the first talking watch to feature the option for both a male or female voice and the alarm feature. The watch will provide you with the time, day, month, date, year, and alarm feature that can be turned on or off.
Their watches for children cost $55 whereas the watches for adults start at $55 and range to $65.
3. Dot Watch
In 2016, a company named Dot released the first-ever braille smartwatch named the Dot Watch. A great innovation to people that suffer from sight loss. The watch can be worn if you already know braille, but also if you would like to learn. Dot offers a learning program that is a simple but entertaining way to get started.
The face of the watch has 24 shifting dots that are powered by magnets and electrical signals. The device is linked to a smartphone through Bluetooth in order to showcase the time but also receive text and app notifications.
What is extra special about the Dot Watch, it also displays logos from applications on your phone. This way you know when you have received a notification from a certain app.
The smartwatch comes with a white face and silver metal band. The costs of the watch range from $299 to $333, depending on the size and your location.