Tell the time using TOUCH: the watch replaces hands and numbers with ball bearings
- The Bradley watch has a minimalist titanium dial with slightly protruding markings, but no numbers or hands
- Two magnetic ball bearings indicate the hours and minutes of the day by moving around the tactile timepiece
- It bears the name Paralympic swimmer Bradley Snyder who won two gold medals and a silver at the 2012 Games
- The ‘watch’ will go on sale in the US in May and will then launch in the UK and Europe at around $275 (£164)
Most of us take the time for granted. But for the visually impaired, it can be a real struggle and sometimes a talking clock just isn’t practical.
However, a new touch watch is about to hit stores that lets people tell the time just by touching it – and it’s so stylish that many people with perfect vision are also ordering one for themselves – same.
The Bradley watch has a minimalist titanium dial with slightly protruding markings, but no numbers or hands.
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It was time ! The Bradley watch (pictured left) allows people to tell time using their sense of touch. It’s named after Paralympic gold medalist Bradley Snyder (pictured right) and features two distinctive grooves with ball bearings placed inside that indicate the minutes and hours of the day.
HOW IT WORKS
Instead of traditional watch hands, the time is indicated by two ball bearings.
The one towards the center of the watch indicates the running minutes and the one marking the hours is positioned on the side.
Ball bearings are connected to a watch movement under the case with magnets.
If the ball bearings are pressed a little too hard and accidentally moved, a user can shake their wrist and they bounce back to display the correct time.
Its unique feature is two ball bearings placed in grooves that people can touch to tell the time.
The ball in the central groove rotates to mark the minutes, while another set in the side of the timepiece moves around the face to mark the hours.
Washington DC-based designer Hyungsoo Kim, CEO of E-onetime, designed the original watch while a student at MIT.
“Most clocks and watches require vision and checking the time is still a big problem if you are visually impaired. We wanted to develop a watch where you can touch time,” he said.
“It’s a timepiece and not a watch because you don’t have to look at it to tell the time.”
Touch the Time: In addition to helping visually impaired people live independently, the Bradley Watch has also been a hit with people with perfect sight.
Due to its striking design, the watch is a hit with everyone and Mr. Kim explained that there are so many occasions – from conferences and job interviews to dinner with the in-laws – where looking at a watch or smartphone is considered rude and revealing. time to touch solves the problem.
The Bradley watch is named after a Paralympian gold medalist who lost his sight in Afghanistan.
Lt. Bradley Snyder served in the US Navy in Afghanistan, dealing with unexploded devices, until in 2011 he was blinded when one of the IEDs exploded in his face.
While he won two golds and a silver in swimming at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, he struggled to adapt to everyday life, especially telling the time. .
Having a ball: The unique feature of the watch is two ball bearings placed in grooves that people can touch to tell the time. The ball in the central groove spins to mark the minutes (pictured) while another set on the side of the watch moves around the face to mark the hours
Mr. Synder told the BBC: ‘You don’t realize how much time you use to orient yourself to where you are. At first it was very disorienting. And especially being in the army, time is very important.
After meeting Mr. Lim through a mutual friend, he became the face of the watch, which is expected to change the lives of many more when it launches this summer.
Mr Synder was using a talking watch, but said: ‘As soon as I press that button it highlights me as someone with a special need. I like the idea of using the same as everyone else. And I want to feel as normal as possible.
There are currently a number of watches for the visually impaired, including one that vibrates to tell the hour and minutes of the day, those with tactile or braille dials – which resemble traditional watches – and of course talking watches.
Neil Heslop, Director of Solutions at RNIB Group, told MailOnline: “Design is just as important for visually impaired people as it is for sighted people.
“What’s great about the Bradley watch is that it’s accessible to everyone, but it also looks good and that combination is incredibly powerful.”
Colourful: Although it was originally developed for people who can’t see how beautiful their watch is, the Bradley watch is up for Design of the Year at the Design Museum in London and its titanium body makes it stand out confers widespread appeal. The watch is even available with three different colored straps
The Bradley watch is up for Design of the Year at the Design Museum in London, and its sleek titanium body gives it widespread appeal. The timepiece is even available with three different colored straps.
Mr Kim and his team of designers initially raised money on crowdfunding website Kickstarter last summer to put their product into production, attracting $594,602 (£357,290).
The ‘Watch’ will launch in the US in May for $195 (£117) if pre-ordered and $275 (£164) thereafter. It will be available in the UK and Europe later this year.
The company said only one to two percent of people who have pre-ordered the watch so far are visually impaired.
It is one of 76 nominations for the Designs of the Year competition at the Design Museum in London.
Entering Groove: The watch has a deep groove on the side of its dial to indicate what time it is. It may look chunky, but it’s made of lightweight titanium. If a ball bearing is pushed too hard, a user can shake the watch and it will spring back into the correct position