Recently, intelligent wearable devices, which relieve the inconvenience of people with disabilities, are emerging due to the development of information technology (IT). The ideas of start-up companies, such as smart watches with braille applied for the visually impaired and rehabilitation games attract attention.
According to the related industry on 22nd, in the start-up that launched wearable devices for the handicapped, there have been successive cases in which the product is recognized for its superiority and attracted popularity in the market or attracted investment in recognition of product technology.
A typical start-up is ‘Dot’, which offers a smart watch for the visually impaired. The ‘Dot Watch’, developed by the company after two years of research, connects to the smartphone via Bluetooth and can check the time, text, weather, and social network service (SNS) messages in braille. The four cells located on the display output letters and numbers in braille. When you receive a call, you can check the caller’s name or number in braille.
Dot Watch is only one-twentieth of its size compared to existing Braille handsets with the same function, and its price is only about 300,000 won (approx. $300), 10% of the existing price. It has been awarded a $ 35 million pre-order from 13 countries for its outstanding technology and is now mass-producing for UK shipments from this month. “I have good eyesight so that I do not need glasses, but I thought of Dot Watch seeing the discomfort of a blind friend during my studying in the United States,” Kim Ju-yoon, CEO of Dot, said. “We are still responding directly to customers’ feedback and are improving the inconveniences of the device.”
‘We inspire hope’. It is the slogan of Neofect, which won the innovation award at theConsumer Electronics Show (CES) held in January this year. The company is receiving attention as a smart rehabilitation device ‘RAPAEL Smart Glove’ to help rehabilitate patients with stroke and other musculoskeletal disorders.
RAPAEL Smart Glove is a glove-shaped medical device that helps the rehabilitation of the hands, wrists, and lower arms. It gives a solution that allows patients suffering from that paralysis to experience painful rehabilitation exercises in a variety of games, helping to ensure continuous rehabilitation training anywhere, anytime.
There are also places where the idea of rehabilitation through games is extended to the entire joints of the body. Exosystems, which was established in January of this year, is developing modular rehabilitation equipment for the body by applying the ‘exosense’ motion recognition device developed by ETRI. The working principle is similar to Neofect. It is to help the patient to rehabilitate by playing the game and naturally using parts of the body that need rehabilitation. They are developing prototypes aimed at completion this year and have already attracted initial investment.
Wearable devices for people with disabilities are driving the growth of the market while wearable devices for the general public are slowing down.
Market research firm Strategy Analytics (SA) predicts that the world’s wearable market will reach $ 22.6 billion by 2020, while another market research institute Markets and Markets projects $ 12.9 billion by 2021.