Voice assistants have made contactless smartphone control or searching for information online much easier. Thanks to them, blind people can also enjoy the benefits of the Internet, but not in every situation voice commands are right. Startup Dot showed a tablet at CES, which has sliding tabs for reading Braille instead of the screen.
Tablet for the blind and visually impaired in terms of its functionality does not differ significantly from the classic counterparts, although it is also close to more advanced ebook readers. Dot Mini resembles the size and style of the Kindle . The device is all white, but on its front panel we will not find any screen. At least not in the traditional sense of the word. The most important part of the device is a row of tabs that retract and extend in such a way as to form a string of 16 characters of the Braille alphabet. In addition to them, we will also find several buttons that will facilitate control, mini jack input, speaker and SD card reader.
What can a user do on Dot Mini besides reading books and listening to music? First of all, surf the Internet and read emails. The tablet has a built-in translator that translates English text into Braille. However, the potential is greater. The device code is open and the manufacturer counts on the fact that there will also be developers who will develop interactive applications with this device in mind. Dot Mini also supports voice commands, which can be helpful in search engine queries.
Unfortunately, the company has not yet provided the approximate release date or price of the device. It is worth emphasizing, however, that another manufacturer’s invention – Dot Watch – is on sale . It is a smartwatch equipped with the same type of screen with insets that was used in Dot Mini. The gadget has come a long way. We wrote about him for the first time in 2015. Since then, its functionality and design have changed. The watch costs 359 euros (approx. 1500 PLN).