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This Stylish Watch Lets Blind People Feel Time

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There are simple things we often take for granted, like the fact that we can flippantly glance at a clock to tell the time. But people who can't see don't have that autonomy, which is why designer Hyungsoo Kim of Eone Timepieces has created the Bradley, a watch that lets blind people feel the time.

How does it work? The stylish time piece uses ball bearings rather than hands. One ball bearing on the time indicates minutes, and another on the side signifies hours. The ball bearings are connected to the watch face with magnets, and they move when you touch them, but spring back into place with a slight shake of the wrist. And of course, the Bradley also has raised hands on the face for another tactile guide. This diagram demonstrates how the watch works:


The watch is a Kickstarter project right now, and it wouldn't be the first watch for the blind. But it might be a better one. Existing watches for the visually impaired generally come in two varieties. The first is talking watches. But the drawback here is that they can be hard to hear. Then there are analog watches with removable covers, but they're difficult to use and expensive to repair. Bradley is neither.


The ticker also has a nice story behind it. Its namesake, Lt. Brad Snyder, lost his vision in an IED explosion in Afghanistan while working as a bomb defuser. But he's gone on to live a normal life—actually he's gone on to live a more extraordinary life than most of us, winning two gold medals and one silver in the 2012 London Paralympics. Snyder says independence is really important to him, which is exactly of the idea behind the watch. [Kickstarter via DesignTaxi]